OFPEC Forum

Missions Depot => Arma3 - Single Player Beta Testing => Topic started by: Undeceived on 29 Jun 2018, 22:55:16

Title: [SP/CAMP] Black Lands (Arma 3)
Post by: Undeceived on 29 Jun 2018, 22:55:16
Time to finish this campaign! >:(

As my premise is the one of good ol' Mapfact (http://www.mapfact.net) "Don't think BETA", I resisted releasing this in the more frequented BIF but wanted a small and calm corner in the WWW so I can get some feedback to get out a release that is as stable as possible. So here we go and thanks for any feedback!




(https://eacnyg.am.files.1drv.com/y4mPuvFlqmrxjK9DRzEKd_TP8vj5XypOzEql3NxIYUK-3d_KAmKPamo4rdV6wEw6DvMMPYoYbP_DX1igNu8xF3vnAUXJDOMTxAtm-i5CbwGf0tn7TPYNQ9ADOE-G2---aTgKnOhp35OjMsVmOhojswBmOfKpl3g0TUCluIgcSsN71mCQSXmOgksp5TFP7pycw7cv514uja6OVpvKODeFd_bbw?width=768&height=384&cropmode=none)


BLACK LANDS
(Arma 3)


Author: Undeceived
Game type: SP campaign
Current version: 0.6 alpha (13 of 20 missions) (released August 31, 2018)



D E S C R I P T I O N :

After the Russian army takes control over Chernarus, Tomas Cerny and his best friend Dimitri, among other war-survivors, form up a resistance movement. At first, the group is able to cause harm to the Russian intruders, but little by little, Tomas sees the strength of the movement crumbling and deteriorating. As eventually Dimitri is killed in an Russian ambush and Tomas, all at once, loses everything he loves and cares for, the resistance fighter finds himself all alone, devitalized and a broken man. In his darkest hour, Tomas is suddenly contacted by an agent of the U.S. intelligence, who is able to light up a small flame in the young Chernarussian again. Tomas learns that there are still people who want to rise up against the Russians. He is able to find new courage, meets new friends and goes on the most difficult journey of his life. He passes through adventures and defeats, experiences friendship as well as betrayal and faces survival and death.



F E A T U R E S :


C H A N G E L O G :

V. 0.5 (alpha)

V. 0.6 (alpha) (updated August 31st 2018)



R E Q U I R E M E N T S :

>> AUTOMATIC subscription of all needed SW mods:

Download this html file (https://1drv.ms/u/s!AmEE7NADjPPbgQPXJYKDwOmPDdcv) and drag & drop it into the official Arma 3 launcher. The launcher will offer you the automatic subscription of all required mods.



D O W N L O A D :

Read the ReadMe for installation instructions.

>> Black Lands v. 0.6 (alpha) (380 MB) @ OneDrive (http://) (Download removed until next version)
Title: Re: Black Lands (Arma 3)
Post by: Gruntage on 29 Jun 2018, 23:03:13
Now I know what I'll be doing tomorrow  :D

Don't think I've had the pleasure of playing any of your projects yet  :)
Title: Re: Black Lands (Arma 3)
Post by: Undeceived on 29 Jun 2018, 23:06:12
Oh, I wasn't expecting such an early reply. :D :D

Thanks, Gruntage. I hope everything works somehow. There shouldn't be any showstoppers at least.
Title: Re: [SP/CAMP] Black Lands (Arma 3)
Post by: Gruntage on 30 Jun 2018, 19:51:12
Alrighty let's get to it. It's been a long time since I last wrote one of these.

So just as a preface, I never played this during Arma2 (never actually played Arma2) so I have no idea what I'll be faced with, it will be an entirely new experience.

Intro

First off, wow. That opening cutscene was certainly a feat of cinema. Very well chosen camera angles but even more so was the music. It set the scenes brilliantly. It's very hard to critique this, but I suppose the only thing (literally) that's missing is voice acting. I know it can be very difficult to implement and most of us don't exactly have a room a voice actors at our disposal.

I did however receive a couple of error messages during the cutscene, but they didn't cause the intro to stop. This message appeared twice: "no entry 'bin\config.bin/CUP_D_RadioProtocol_CZ_ACR/SentCovering.'. I don't know what might cause such a message to appear...I'm sure I installed all the addons listed. Might just be on my end but I thought I'd mention it anyway.

Death Came Upon Me

Very dramatic start - though I was kinda expecting Dimitri to get shot   :D An interesting starting mission; good atmosphere with very strong cinema once again. I suppose I'd put more patrols in to increase the pressure and suspense but the mission is fine as it is. The sense of hopelessness does come across very well. If I was being really picky I'd go for harsher weather for emphasis - heavy rain or perhaps just the sound of the wind. For me atmosphere is everything  :D

As for the outro, again very dramatic and quite gut-wrenching as well. Very good start.

Awakening

I always like stealth missions especially those of the urban kind. Using the buildings as cover was pretty cool. I have to admit I was expecting something a bit more challenging. But then it could easily become overpowering and frustrating if you did increase the patrol count. Perhaps it's down to personal taste.

Good cinema although there were a few spelling mistakes and I did chuckle at the 'perforated by bullets' phrase...it sounds like surgery  :D I think you need to phrase that so it sounds more harrowing and not quite so clinical or procedural. How about 'riddled with bullets', or 'cut to pieces by rifle fire'?

The only other thing that might improve this mission is music. Adding music to missions is also down to personal taste; same say that music is best left to the cutscenes. I personally think music can do well in missions so long as it doesn't interfere with gameplay. It should act as a supplement. I'm not suggesting having Hans Zimmer blaring out of my headphones but just something suspenseful to enhance the stealth aspect. However, if you prefer to keep music out of the missions then I totally get it; it's down to opinion.


Anyway, that's all I can do for now. I'll resume my testing tomorrow. So far though it's very good. Great atmosphere and it's certainly making me want to play more of it. I haven't played many campaigns to be honest but this is one of the best. I hope this feedback is useful to you  :good:


Title: Re: [SP/CAMP] Black Lands (Arma 3)
Post by: Undeceived on 30 Jun 2018, 20:36:26
Perfect, thanks a lot, Gruntage! Very useful!

That script error "SentCovering" is something you'll encounter more often - it's a (known) bug in CUP. They will fix it eventually... Other than that there are some scripts errors coming out of another external script (they'll appear when you die).

Your suggestions to improve the atmosphere are great (weather in mission 1, music in 2) - I'll definitely look into that.

The patrols in Awakening are random, so I think you had some luck in avoiding them. And yeah, once they spot you, it gets uncomfortable.

On these spelling mistakes: YES, please give me more suggestions and corrections! No native speaker, so there's much room for improvement in this matter...... :dry:
Title: Re: [SP/CAMP] Black Lands (Arma 3)
Post by: Gruntage on 01 Jul 2018, 10:11:34
Quote
That script error "SentCovering" is something you'll encounter more often - it's a (known) bug in CUP. They will fix it eventually... Other than that there are some scripts errors coming out of another external script (they'll appear when you die).

Fair enough; thought I'd missed an addon or something.

Quote
The patrols in Awakening are random, so I think you had some luck in avoiding them. And yeah, once they spot you, it gets uncomfortable.

That makes sense. Perhaps on future playthroughs I'll have a different experience.

Anyway, it's time to resume testing. So moving on to....

Starting to Inflame Again

Good briefing with enough info for the task ahead. The music is exactly what I had in mind for the previous mission (although maybe use a different track for the mission before). Think this one was used in the Arma Rahmadi campaign intro; always liked the music there.

So, onto the gameplay. Unfortunately I didn't get to complete the mission. Sadly it seems that the radio savegame feature is a bit of double-edged sword..it doesn't allow you to pick an earlier save game whereas the in-game save does. This resulted in essentially ending up in a position I couldn't advance or retreat from without being gunned down. Doesn't help that the enemies have the accuracy of hawks. Even when I was in the long grass they had no trouble one-shotting me.

At least when you have a selection of earlier save games to choose from it's a bit more forgiving if a strategy doesn't quite work out. As it is at the moment you have to commit to a strategy and if it fails (which it did for me), I have to start the mission from the start. Bit frustrating as it wasn't exactly a cakewalk escaping the city. It's probably not so bad if you know the mission and you know the right strategy to follow but if it's your first time and it's trial and error and you can't rectify a mistake then the fun element drains away pretty quick.

It just seems like the radio savegame feature is a bit redundant given you have in-game saving anyway. I thought that on the previous mission.

I'll have another go at the mission later but this time I'll use the in game save rather than the radio. Aside from the occasional 'sent.covering' error message the mission seems to work fine...though I haven't seen all of it.

I probably would prefer it if the boat ride was skipped to be honest. Perhaps if you were to have the dialogue in a cutscene and then skip the rest of the journey?

 I don't mind long missions but having to start the mission again and go through everything again doesn't really excite me.

I hope I don't come across as overly critical. I can be quite blunt at times. It's a good concept. Hope you find this useful.

 
Title: Re: [SP/CAMP] Black Lands (Arma 3)
Post by: Undeceived on 01 Jul 2018, 12:08:54
Don't worry, I'm used to harsher criticism (which is good too as long it's not destructive). :D

The savegame issue is a good point and you have put it into words perfectly. In this (and some of the next) mission(s) you have to go with one strategy but it could fail and you'd have to restart, which indeed is frustrating. Or even more frustrating is when the AI or perhaps a bug messes it up. :D
I finally have to find out how to make the saveGame command save into the user-made save slots. Right now - as you say - it overwrites the previous slot which is the problem...

Thanks for bringing this problem up - I always noticed this but never was able to realize it. :good:

The trip to the light tower is skipped after a dialogue. It's not a cutscene but it skips a very long drive in the rather slow lifeboat. :)

And please keep in mind to note down odd / wrong expressions so I can improve them. Thanks!
Title: Re: [SP/CAMP] Black Lands (Arma 3)
Post by: Gruntage on 01 Jul 2018, 13:13:07
So I came back to the mission for another try and I was able to start the mission from the when the boat drops me off. I was fully expecting to have to start the mission from scratch so this was a welcome surprise. Gave me an opportunity to rethink my strategy. I pretty much concluded that going to the overlook was just asking for trouble, so I decided to approach the site from the trees to the east.

One thing I did in order to make things more manageable was to put my terrain detail all the way to low so that the long grass doesn't obstruct my view too much. Unfortunately the AI can see through the grass whereas I can't so it does make for a rather unbalanced playing field. This is just how the game is and isn't your fault.

So I made more progress this time around and I was able to secure the site of enemies. However, when the two hostages joined me they were unable to leave the building via either entrance and were subsequently gunned down by the APC. Despite my best efforts of trying to move them out of the shed, they just didn't want to move. This unfortunately is a showstopper. I thought that by trying to get them to board a vehicle it would work but it seems all the vehicles nearby are locked. Perhaps teleporting them outside would work?

Hope this helps
Title: Re: [SP/CAMP] Black Lands (Arma 3)
Post by: Undeceived on 01 Jul 2018, 13:31:16
Hmm... They should leave through the back door (the one they're close to). At least this is what my experience always was.

But ok, I'll setpos them outside and put some objects around the exit so they're a bit covered until the player commands them elsewhere.

Thanks!

I'll see if I can fix and upload this later today. In that case I think you will be able to continue from the start of this mission, a complete restart of the campaign won't be needed.
I'd recommend you not to skip the mission via cheat though, because at the end your gear will be saved for the next mission.

I'll also check out if I can tune down the AI's skill a bit more. Maybe there are units in these missions where I forgot to do it. The AI seeing through the grass really is a PITA.

Btw. this mission is actually two missions. After the Chernogorsk part the other one starts.




EDIT:

Updated the third mission (prisoner rescue) some minutes ago. Please re-download from the first post (didn't change the version number as to small fix).

Now the guys are setpossed to the back door and should move out of the compound without problems.

You should be able to rewind to this mission without problems.



EDIT 2:

Btw. could someone with admin powers give me the permission to double post? That would make things easier to see updates in the threads. Thanks. :)
Title: Re: [SP/CAMP] Black Lands (Arma 3)
Post by: h- on 02 Jul 2018, 17:17:41
I'm the most powerful thing here and I can't  :D
The double-post stopper settings only allow for setting up the delay between posts, in days. Currently set to 1 day.

I guess I could disable it, it's not like we have massive traffic  ::)
Will turn it on after the first spam bot that posts 800 consecutive posts in a thread...  :P

EDIT:
Hmm, I should probably test this campaign too...
Title: Re: [SP/CAMP] Black Lands (Arma 3)
Post by: Undeceived on 02 Jul 2018, 18:56:48
Ok, thanks!

Quote
Hmm, I should probably test this campaign too...
Maybe you should. :D If you're up for another bunch of nasty bugs (probably), you're most welcome! :P
Title: Re: [SP/CAMP] Black Lands (Arma 3)
Post by: Undeceived on 02 Jul 2018, 18:57:21
Testing double posting.

Edit: Yay, works! Thanks again. :good:
Title: Re: [SP/CAMP] Black Lands (Arma 3)
Post by: Gruntage on 02 Jul 2018, 20:52:55
Hello again, it's time for more testing  :D

So I had another go at 'Inflame' and I'm happy to say I finished the mission. Though it did take a few attempts due to the AI being....AI. I have to admit I didn't realise that the mission was split in two. I thought that when I had to restart I'd have to do part I again.

The teleport change was definately noticeable and it did seem to solve the problem. However, it does need some refining. I think you need to do a 'savegame' after the 'black in' has finished. I had to reload several times from that point and I got the 'black in' again everytime.

There were a few other challenges I was presented with. The first was having to find a medkit to heal one of the hostages. On the first attempt he was just limping and he didn't get out of the village alive. On the second attempt the fence around the back door seemed to interfere with their pathfinding as they were once again stationary.

In the end I didn't bother giving them weapons as I didn't have time before the UAZ and APC arrived. It seemed like a case of just 'gtfo or die'  :D I have to admit I'm somewhat wary of missions that rely so much on the AI in order to work properly. Sometimes you end up screaming at them to move.

If it were me, maybe I'd allow a bit more time between having secured the hostages and reinforcements arriving. What I think would be cool would if the hostages never joined your group but rather went to the hiding spot themselves while you and your guy would lay a trap for the Russian reinforcements. Like a way of getting back at them.

Just an idea. The mission is alright as it is, just a little rough around the edges.

So moving onto...

Setting Up Time

Really like the intro cutscene and it reminds me so much of the resistance camp in OFP  :D Plenty of nostalgia right here.

My only criticism here is during Tomas's exposition when he says what's weighing on his mind and he says 'my family is dead'. I think the audience get the message now. I don't think you need to repeat it. We get what he's going through. I understand the need to stress that point but stress it too much and we stop taking notice and we stop caring. The key to a good story is make the audience care. But you know that already I'm sure. Don't try too hard is what I'm saying.

I don't really know how to say any of that without sounding rude so I hope you don't take offense to that.

But anyway, onto the mission itself...

So I decided to play a bit of the mission first and then post here. I haven't finished the mission yet but it's shaping up to be a really fun experience. There are a few things though that are testing my suspension of disbelief however. The first is that there seems to be no consequence to running soldiers over with my quad bike. I took out what I think was an entire squad, loaded up their weapons and took them back to the base. I also took out an APC with rpg which was satisfying, all the while standing in front of it and not being shot  :D

I don't know what system you could put in place so that the player can't just run over soldiers with no consequence. Maybe a killed eventhandler that makes the player an enemy? Are the soldiers gonna be killed by someone other than the player? If not, then perhaps that's a solution. It just seems too easy and dare I say it, too fun. Sounds weird when you talk about a game like that.

Anyway, I'll get back to that mission either later or tomorrow. It looks really good though  :)

Hope you find this useful
Title: Re: [SP/CAMP] Black Lands (Arma 3)
Post by: Undeceived on 03 Jul 2018, 08:42:45
Quote
However, it does need some refining. I think you need to do a 'savegame' after the 'black in' has finished. I had to reload several times from that point and I got the 'black in' again everytime.
Did you save right before talking to the prisoners?
I'd prefer not to save right after the black in. It happened once that a Russian stood at the fence some seconds after. I put the fence there to protect the guys a bit but this is no guarantee, which means that the automatic save could cause serious trouble.

They both always limp and the player needs to treat them. I'm aware that this costs more time and thus, as you suggested, I'll delay the reinforcements a bit, even though the mission indeed is supposed to be one of the
Quote
gtfo or die
kind. :D

Thanks for letting me know about the fence. I'll try to improve that a bit.

I'll leave them in the group because this way, if the player is fast enough, he can give them weapons which are collected at the end. This doesn't work every time, even I sometimes just go GTFO of there. :D


Quote
My only criticism here is during Tomas's exposition
Good point here, thanks!

That problem with killing soldiers without consequences is something I finally have to fix. :) And you're idea with the EH is great. Yeah, they can be killed by patrolling APCs or cars but through the EH I'll try to identify the killer. Thanks for the hint! :good:

What SHOULD happen though is that the player gets engaged immediately when he is seen with a gun. Did you say that you stood before an APC with an AT weapon and they didn't react?

Thanks a lot again, Gruntage! Great work!

And you'd only be rude if you said something like "This is total garbage and crap and you can do whatever you want - this won't change!"  :D So don't be worried about how you write - just let your thoughts flow.
Title: Re: [SP/CAMP] Black Lands (Arma 3)
Post by: Gruntage on 03 Jul 2018, 19:30:36
Quote
Did you save right before talking to the prisoners?
I'd prefer not to save right after the black in. It happened once that a Russian stood at the fence some seconds after. I put the fence there to protect the guys a bit but this is no guarantee, which means that the automatic save could cause serious trouble.

Now that I think about it I did, which may explain why it looked and felt weird. I saved a LOT in that mission and the reason why I saved before I secured the prisoners was because I kept getting shot in the head whenever I leaned around the doorway to shoot the two guys in there. I don't think I've ever had to concentrate on not dying as much as I did in that mission  :D

Having just a little bit more breathing space when they're secured would be great. I'm not particularly good at micro-managing, and so doing stuff like patching the guys up and arming them within a short time is difficult; for me at least. Others may test this mission and have a completely different experience. They may find what I found difficult a complete non-issue. Helps to have other perspectives I guess.

Regarding 'Setting Up Time', I'm not 100% sure whether a killed eventhandler would work. Is it the player or the vehicle that kills a guy? I've never tested it myself so I wonder what would the EH return if you run someone over with a vehicle  :scratch: Is a vehicle considered a means of killing someone or is it the guy operating the vehicle? Something to think about for sure. I wonder if h- knows  :hmmm:

Quote
What SHOULD happen though is that the player gets engaged immediately when he is seen with a gun. Did you say that you stood before an APC with an AT weapon and they didn't react?

That is correct yes. I'd just wiped out a squad with my quad bike in a village to the north. I noticed a BTR (?) parked near the squad. Though you do say in the briefing that if I equip a weapon I'll be shot at, I'm sure you understand that I can't just take your word for it  :D I have to test it  :P

So I grabbed an RPG from a guy in the open and in clear sight of the BTR and shot at it. I saved just before I did all this so I don't end up dying needlessly. In fact the first time I completely missed but I waited a few seconds before reloading to see what the BTR did. It did nothing. When I reloaded I shot and hit the BTR but still it did nothing. So I grabbed another RPG and destroyed it.

I'm sure there is a system in place but for whatever reason it wasn't working when I played it. There was also something very strange that happened shortly before my engagement with the squad. Upon my approach to the village I got told to stop by an officer. So I did and I went along with what he said. I said my name was Czerny and then the officer called his squad over and said 'thats the guy!'. I was expecting to get shot and then have to reload. But nothing happened. I got back on the quad bike and drove off.

Seemed like something was supposed to happen there but didn't.

Anyway, I'll hold off on testing for now until a new version is put up. I was having fun with it but if it's not working as it should then it's best to play it when it is. Hope this is useful to you anyway.

Title: Re: [SP/CAMP] Black Lands (Arma 3)
Post by: Undeceived on 03 Jul 2018, 19:44:41
Road check in Vybor: Yeah, this is a bug! Damn. If you tell the officer the truth (your real name) you should get shot immediately. Strange enough as I fixed this some weeks ago, but it seems that it still is bugged. I don't know why but you remained captive (which is why no one cared when you carried the gun in the open). Will check that out ASAP - maybe later today.

To have some more info on what could have messed it up - can you remember how you proceeded in the mission in terms of carrying guns in the open? Did you shoot someone before that situation or did you remain covert and drove up there as an innocent fellow citizen? :) Were you armed at all (gear in backpack, vest or uniform)?

Quote
Though you do say in the briefing that if I equip a weapon I'll be shot at, I'm sure you understand that I can't just take your word for it  :D I have to test it  :P
And I thank you very much for that! :D

The EH works as intended. The one who drives someone over is the _killer in the EH and the one who uses a vehicles gun (e.g. MG) is the _instigator. In the exec code I added a check if Tomas is one of them. If yes, Tomas is setCaptive false.

Title: Re: [SP/CAMP] Black Lands (Arma 3)
Post by: Gruntage on 03 Jul 2018, 19:56:12
I should have kept playing...I could have beaten the entire Russian army and still be a captive  :D :whistle:

Quote
To have some more info on what could have messed it up - can you remember how you proceeded in the mission in terms of carrying guns in the open? Did you shoot someone before that situation or did you remain covert and drove up there as an innocent fellow citizen? :) Were you armed at all (gear in backpack, vest or uniform)?

Up until my encounter with the officer I never carried any weapons or even possessed any weapons. I suppose I was thinking of trying to do the mission without any weapons whatsoever. Also up until that point I never hit anybody with my car. I was just driving around exploring. But after a while I decided to test the mission's limits  :P What can I get away with, that sort of thing.


Title: Re: [SP/CAMP] Black Lands (Arma 3)
Post by: Undeceived on 03 Jul 2018, 21:17:52
Quote
Up until my encounter with the officer I never carried any weapons or even possessed any weapons. I suppose I was thinking of trying to do the mission without any weapons whatsoever. Also up until that point I never hit anybody with my car. I was just driving around exploring. But after a while I decided to test the mission's limits  :P What can I get away with, that sort of thing.

Ok, thanks for the info. Actually it's possible to complete 99% of the mission completely unarmed, even though it's really tough (especially with the hawk-eye AI). You would have to infiltrate or run into the medical camp and manage to get out of there alive (the main task of the mission). Well - I recommend you to take a gun with you to shoot your way out. :D

The remaining 1 % is one pistol bullet (at least) - you'll know what I mean when you get there.
Title: Re: [SP/CAMP] Black Lands (Arma 3)
Post by: Undeceived on 03 Jul 2018, 21:25:01
Quote
Up until my encounter with the officer I never carried any weapons or even possessed any weapons.

Ehm... But you had your (and the guy's) equipment in the crate in the camp, didn't you??



EDIT:

And one more question: Were you driving that quad / another vehicle? Or did you approach the road check on foot?
Title: Re: [SP/CAMP] Black Lands (Arma 3)
Post by: Gruntage on 03 Jul 2018, 21:54:23
Yes there were a couple of rifles in the crate but I didn't take them with me. What I meant was I didn't store any weapons in my vehicle until after I spoke with the officer.
Title: Re: [SP/CAMP] Black Lands (Arma 3)
Post by: Undeceived on 03 Jul 2018, 21:57:56
And one more question: Were you driving that quad / another vehicle? Or did you approach the road check on foot?
Title: Re: [SP/CAMP] Black Lands (Arma 3)
Post by: Gruntage on 03 Jul 2018, 22:00:50
No I was driving the quad bike, never used any other vehicle. If you want to know which quad bike, it was the one in the first village you come to (if I remember right).
Title: Re: [SP/CAMP] Black Lands (Arma 3)
Post by: Undeceived on 03 Jul 2018, 22:04:32
Very strange bug. I tested it, took the quad and passed the villages to Vybor, came into the road check and told my name and I was shot from all sides... :(

On the other hand no one reacted when I ran a soldier over earlier. :D WFT? :D
Title: Re: [SP/CAMP] Black Lands (Arma 3)
Post by: Gruntage on 03 Jul 2018, 22:07:41
If I have some time later I can go back and try recreate the situation again and see what happens.
Title: Re: [SP/CAMP] Black Lands (Arma 3)
Post by: Gruntage on 03 Jul 2018, 23:53:11
So I went back to have another play at the mission (it's quite addictive  :D ) and when I went up to Vybor I did get shot by the officer this time. I didn't do anything differently so it seems to be an intermittent bug.

After I reloaded I did the dialogue correctly and then proceeded to mow down any Russians between Vybor and our camp  :D I then went back to the fuel depot and I blew it up with an RPG.

I know I haven't been playing this mission exactly as it should be played but it is a lot of fun. If there had been a OFP version of this mission back in the day I'd have played it all the time. It's so simple yet really enjoyable. Not being able to run people over though will put a different spin on things for sure, but it is needed.

I haven't completed the mission obviously but it's really good. Good job  :good:
Title: Re: [SP/CAMP] Black Lands (Arma 3)
Post by: Undeceived on 04 Jul 2018, 11:21:24
Ok, I updated and uploaded it again with all of your feedback implemented, hopefully properly working.

Setting-Up-Time should work fine now (runnung over soldiers has consequences and when telling the true name in the road-check, the player should always be killed).


Quote
I know I haven't been playing this mission exactly as it should be played but it is a lot of fun. If there had been a OFP version of this mission back in the day I'd have played it all the time. It's so simple yet really enjoyable. Not being able to run people over though will put a different spin on things for sure, but it is needed.
Don't forget to keep your ears open and talk to people where possible. Maybe there is a bit more to see/do than the main task. ;)
Title: Re: [SP/CAMP] Black Lands (Arma 3)
Post by: Gruntage on 04 Jul 2018, 21:17:03
Alright so I went back to have another go at it. I may go back to the start of the campaign to see how it plays it out for now I'll carry on where I left off.

The changes were definately noticeable and the difficulty has increased for sure. There is no doubt that this is a great and interesting mission but my God the AI are good. Crazily good. I don't know what it is about these guys but they make Viper look like nothing. To even have a chance at these guys I have to turn the grass basically off and to turn the skill down to 0. Yet the result is the same. On my last playthrough I was being shot through trees, rocks you name it.

Generally I don't mind being shot; it's part of the game. But I'm not gonna lie, it does get frustrating when you're being headshot by an invisible enemy consistently. One time the second I fire an RPG I get headshot. Not even the second, an instant more like. It doesn't matter what strategy I employ, I always get shredded. I think I spent about an hour trying to kill the guys at the Pulkovo farm, but I never got closer than 200m.

So the experience feels like a real struggle and it eats away at the fun element. I'm not saying the mission should be jokingly easy but AI shouldn't be overpowered as they are now.

Anyway, Imma take a little break for now and maybe go back at it tomorrow. I don't want to have to use the cheat because then I wouldn't be doing my job. Rant over anyway  :D

The mission is great, but the AI are nuisance. But I don't know what you can do about it. I don't know if it's something that's built into the mod. I tell you what it reminds me of, it reminds me of the AI in ArmA 1...overpowered one minute and silly the next.
Title: Re: [SP/CAMP] Black Lands (Arma 3)
Post by: Undeceived on 04 Jul 2018, 23:14:35
Ok, that doesn't sound good. :D I think I have set every AI (in fact throughout the whole campaign) to the minimum skill (20) or close to that. On my end this results in quite balanced fights with the AI shooting a lot, but missing a lot too. Of course - there are exceptions. When I use an AT rocket, I instantly get killed as well (lots of retries here).

It could be that I forgot to tune down some squads. I'm gonna check that, especially Pulkovo farm. But if they are at 20 already, then hmm... no idea what I could do about it. :(

Thanks again, mate!
Title: Re: [SP/CAMP] Black Lands (Arma 3)
Post by: h- on 06 Jul 2018, 07:08:43
Unfortunately I'm way waaay too busy to test this thing currently..
By the time I'm able to it's gonna be bug free, yay  :)
Title: Re: [SP/CAMP] Black Lands (Arma 3)
Post by: Undeceived on 06 Jul 2018, 08:19:48
Ok, thx for the info, I was rather surprised anyway, when you said you should probably test this. :D Good luck with your projects!
Title: Re: [SP/CAMP] Black Lands (Arma 3)
Post by: Gruntage on 06 Jul 2018, 20:51:32
So I haven't given up on this mission quite yet. Loaded my last save where I was about 100m to the rear of the Pulkovo shed. Figured that rather than staying in the open and getting slaughtered I may as well sprint to the shed where at least there's something solid between me and the Russians. Though I did get shot THROUGH the house a couple of times.

This strat actually worked and I was able to secure the town and complete the objective. Annoyingly though I had to drive back to my base to fetch a UAZ I stole earlier. I couldn't leave all of that ordinance there going to waste. I suppose a quality of life change would be to unlock the UAZ and/or truck.

I still maintain though that taking that farm, and just in general, is way harder than perhaps it should be. It just seems that the difficulty doesn't match what you're actually doing. Taking a farm house shouldn't be like trying to take a military headquarters. Maybe I'm just bad, but I wouldn't have thought I was that bad at the game to be honest. Anyway it felt good completing it.  :cool2:

I have to say there are a lot of weird bugs with this mod. One of the strangest is in the screenshot at the bottom of this post. For some strange reason the UAZ I was using was duplicating rucksacks full of ammo. Problem is, the inventory stays full which means I can't load what I take out. One of the things I loaded onto the UAZ was a DshKm...figured a weapon like that would be very useful. In fact I got chance to try it out on a patrolling squad but after I couldn't load it back onto the UAZ again. Quite frustrating really. But I think these bugs lie with the mod makers rather than you.

But at least I'm not being shredded anymore....yet. It does kinda feel like these are guys are robots rather than human beings. Another perspective would be handy because at least then I'd know whether I'm just bad at the game.

Anyway, I'll resume my playthrough at some point over the weekend.

https://imgur.com/a/LnTG7ug
Title: Re: [SP/CAMP] Black Lands (Arma 3)
Post by: Undeceived on 07 Jul 2018, 00:09:04
Quote
Another perspective would be handy because at least then I'd know whether I'm just bad at the game.

Haha, Gruntage :D I noticed that MANY Russians still are with their original skill (which IS hard as hell). Pulkovo farm too. I tuned them all down to minimum and it should feel a bit better now...

Will take note of your other feedback - as always, good job and thanks a lot!


Btw. I'm currently adding a small but interesting side-story to the mission as I feel it's still too empty. :P The player benefits from it too for the main task if he follows it. But it's not ready yet. Nevertheless I imagine you don't want to replay the whole mission.

These bugs are strange though. Never experienced something like you described. :(
Title: Re: [SP/CAMP] Black Lands (Arma 3)
Post by: Undeceived on 09 Jul 2018, 22:44:05
Ok, here we go with another update.


Title: Re: [SP/CAMP] Black Lands (Arma 3)
Post by: Gruntage on 09 Jul 2018, 22:47:49
Will give the campaign a fresh playthrough tomorrow and see what's changed  :D
Title: Re: [SP/CAMP] Black Lands (Arma 3)
Post by: Undeceived on 10 Jul 2018, 08:20:47
Thanks, Gruntage!
Title: Re: [SP/CAMP] Black Lands (Arma 3)
Post by: Undeceived on 10 Jul 2018, 12:59:44
And another update: :D

Title: Re: [SP/CAMP] Black Lands (Arma 3)
Post by: Gruntage on 10 Jul 2018, 21:58:44
Alrighty let's do this....

Death Came Upon Me

So as I said I started the campaign again to see what's up, and straight away I was met by a new beginning to this mission. I was expecting a easy walk through the woods. What I got was quite different, but a welcome change honestly. It puts the player under pressure straight away and it took me a few tries to take out all the guys around the shed (they kept headshotting me).

But the change in difficulty was definitely noticeable and I think I ended up killing about 10 in that mission. I got a nice grenade triple kill on a group by a tent which was satisfying. Atmosphere was definitely better and it felt great. My only little criticism here is the UAZ that breaks down. Maybe I'm missing something but I don't really get its purpose. I went and dealt with the officer and driver but of course I couldn't use the UAZ, and the officer didn't drop anything of any real value. If I'm being honest I don't really know what incentive it gives the player to go and look. You don't really get anything out of it....that I know of. Like I said there might be something I'm missing there.

I might suggest giving the officer a pair of NV goggles that you can loot off his body and perhaps use in later missions. I just think the UAZ needs a bit more substance.

Death Came Upon Me - Cutscene

Even though I've already given comments on this on a previous test I just wanted to reiterate just how amazing the cinema is here. The music, the camera shots, the scene transitions....they're all fantastic. You get the sense of desperation; it reminds me of Gladiator actually. I like how he drops his weapon like it's no longer important.

Feels like you're watching a movie. One of the best if not the best piece of cinema I've seen. 10/10 here.

Awakening

Alright so this is probably where this post is gonna become a wall of text. This mission feels very different to the last time I played it. I know I said in my first post that I was expecting something a bit more challenging. But honestly now, this feels a bit over the top.

This mission is a weird one for me because I want to like it. I really do. I love the setting, the atmosphere (the music was a great addition). But the amount of Russians in the area now....it really does change the way I look at it. With the amount of enemies crawling around the town, you'd think that the alarm had already been raised. Honestly no matter which direction I took, there were Russians following me. They were crawling underneath fences and everything.

I don't really get why the Russians were running all over the place like it was a war zone and that they were hunting someone. I've gotta be honest it felt broken, like these guys were in combat mode when they should be in a safe mode or something. It felt overpowering is what I'm sayin'.

That's not to say that I was dying a lot. The Russians were certainly inaccurate but there were just so many of them it felt weird. I think I must have spent an hour on that mission and I think that's a lot more than should be spent really. In the end I just starting shooting my way through the town and said screw stealth because it just wasn't working.

So if I'm being honest I preferred the original iteration of this mission. I think it was alright before. By all means have the occasional campfire or a couple of guys on the odd street corner, but having squads of infantry running everywhere and tracking my every step doesn't look or feel right for the mission. I hope that's not too harsh. I don't know what other people are saying when they're testing; it might be you've got one guy saying a mission is too easy and another guy saying it's too hard. The hard part is trying to find a middle ground.

I just think the amount of enemies feels disproportionate to what is actually going on in the mission. I have to try and describe what I'm seeing and feeling when I play, and I prefer to be honest and not mince my words. I know how hard it can be to take on everyone's feedback because I've been there myself.

Anyway, I'll resume my testing tomorrow. Can't wait to see how Setting Up Time feels with the change in difficulty, or even the next mission for that matter.

Title: Re: [SP/CAMP] Black Lands (Arma 3)
Post by: Undeceived on 10 Jul 2018, 23:03:20
Quote
and the officer didn't drop anything of any real value. If I'm being honest I don't really know what incentive it gives the player to go and look. You don't really get anything out of it....that I know of. Like I said there might be something I'm missing there.

I might suggest giving the officer a pair of NV goggles that you can loot off his body and perhaps use in later missions. I just think the UAZ needs a bit more substance.

:D You have to search him completely, which means, also his uniform. Nothing of use to the player there, but something that adds to the story (a protocol of the activities of his platoon).
Apart from that wait until the repair team comes, they have a NGV with them in the truck.
You "heard" (read) him calling the repair team, didn't you? (you should have, if everything worked as intended)


Quote
So if I'm being honest I preferred the original iteration of this mission.
I didn't change anything in this mission. As I said earlier, the patrols have random waypoints.

But ok, you're right - they keep running through Cherno, as if alarm had been set already. Thanks for this observation - you're right, it should not be this way. Thanks!


EDIT:

Gruntage, thanks a lot for spending so much time for this! I really appreciate your feedback!
Title: Re: [SP/CAMP] Black Lands (Arma 3)
Post by: Gruntage on 10 Jul 2018, 23:18:25
Quote
You have to search him completely, which means, also his uniform. Nothing of use to the player there, but something that adds to the story (a protocol of the activities of his platoon).
Apart from that wait until the repair team comes, they have a NGV with them in the truck.
You "heard" (read) him calling the repair team, didn't you? (you should have, if everything worked as intended)

I thought I had searched his uniform but I guess I must have missed it. I don't think I heard the officer call for a repair team at all. But then, I did kill him so after that I think his calling days were over. I didn't stay at the UAZ long so it just seemed at a glance that there was nothing significant there.

Quote
I didn't change anything in this mission. As I said earlier, the patrols have random waypoints.

You know the funny thing is I just knew you'd say that. I suppose in that case then I got extremely lucky on the first playthrough because I took more or less the same route at the start, except that I was forced towards the NE because of patrols. I will go into a bit more detail on it.

The problem with adding lots of patrols in a situation like this is that the player will just end up going all the way around the outside of the city and along the coastline. In which case, all the hard work that went into setting up the city will just be a waste. Speaking from experience people will take the path of least resistance. If I hadn't completed that mission on the last try I would have just gone the long way around.

I suppose what was confusing about the mission was it wasn't clear whether it was supposed to be a stealth mission or not. There didn't seem to be any consequences for shooting enemies and giving my position away. Just what was already happening basically. Simply put, it didn't seem clear to me what approach you want the player to take; to go stealth or to go in Rambo style. Stealth makes the most sense given the objective, but when the opposition is so strong you wonder why you bother going stealth in the first place if the enemy seemingly know you're there already. If you had alarm bells ringing and tanks swarming everywhere then it would be a pretty clear message that stealth is best.

I hope that makes things clearer. I'm not rubbishing the mission at all (I'm not trying to). I basically just to have give an honest accounting of how the gameplay feels. I don't spare any details and I try to go in with an open mind and as if it's my first time playing and if I'm just the usual steam workshop guy.
Title: Re: [SP/CAMP] Black Lands (Arma 3)
Post by: Undeceived on 11 Jul 2018, 09:31:39
Great post, Gruntage, thanks a lot.

 :D That sentence you predicted wasn't supposed to be a excuse, it became clear to me that the mission needs some refinement, but I was short on time yesterday to go more into detail. I just remembered having written that. :D

Your explanation was completely correct and useful. I'll try to improve the mission, I already have some ideas for it. :good: Thanks.


EDIT:

Would you mind to try out the start of the first mission again just to confirm that the officer didn't call in the rep team? You could (in the campaign menu) just go on Replay so you don't lose your campaign progress. Normally he should radio while the player is still quite far away (40 or 50 meters).

If you could, also check if you can find the note in the uniform - it should be there. And being there :) wait for the rep team etc...
Title: Re: [SP/CAMP] Black Lands (Arma 3)
Post by: Gruntage on 11 Jul 2018, 22:28:15
Alright so I went back and replayed the first mission to see what would happen with the UAZ. I'm afraid to say it doesn't seem to be working properly. I got the prompt that the UAZ had broken down as before, so I ran over towards it but nothing else happened. There was no text or sound, all I noticed was that the officer was sprinting to the NE leaving the UAZ behind.

I waited at the UAZ for about 10 minutes before moving on. I didn't do anything apart from just run towards the UAZ.

But anyway, so I was able to do both the 'Inflame Again' missions with no problems. Both missions play well and do exactly what they should do. No bugs detected.

That brings me back to Setting Up Time, and it's definitely more manageable this time. Sadly however I've run out of time this evening but I'll probably go for the main camp the next time I play. Haven't had chance to test that new feature you implemented but I will have a look at it. Not gonna lie I'm kinda looking forward to moving past this mission  :D. I did miss the massive ammo crate at Pulkovo though; that thing gave me a shit tonne of RPD rounds last time I played.

Nothing much to report so far it seems. All seems fine so far apart from that UAZ thing.
Title: Re: [SP/CAMP] Black Lands (Arma 3)
Post by: Undeceived on 11 Jul 2018, 23:37:10
Many thanks, Gruntage!

Very strange behaviour of the UAZ in mission 1. At the mission start, did you get involved in a fight? Or did you sneak away undetected? If there was a fight, maybe this had an effect on the UAZ part... Will have to take a closer look to it as I never experienced this (but I have to say that I never openend the mission guns blazing - I always went low profile).

Ah, one thing I wanted to ask you (regarding the new feature in mission 4): There's quite much to read. If you'd check grammar and expressions too, that would be cool.

I really hope that mission 4 doesn't have a showstopper or something else severe in store for you....... Good luck. :) And thanks again!
Title: Re: [SP/CAMP] Black Lands (Arma 3)
Post by: Gruntage on 11 Jul 2018, 23:43:42
At the start on both my playthroughs of the latest version I always took out the 3 guys with my pistol, grabbed a rifle and ran into the forest. To be honest I never considered just sneaking away I thought it was intended for me to make a stand.

But I can give the mission another look tomorrow with a different approach and see what happens.
Title: Re: [SP/CAMP] Black Lands (Arma 3)
Post by: Undeceived on 12 Jul 2018, 10:10:08
You could also carry on with the other missions, I'd say, so that you don't need to replay the already known stuff over and over again. 😊 Looking at the campaign's current state it could well be that you'll be facing further problems regarding mission design or bugs. 😆 (even though I tried to polish it as much as possible before the release).


I'll check out that part in the first mission again, already have some ideas how to improve it.
Title: Re: [SP/CAMP] Black Lands (Arma 3)
Post by: Gruntage on 13 Jul 2018, 00:07:49
Ok so I went back and finally finished Setting Up Time, so now I can give a review before moving on.

There's actually not much to say on this one that I haven't already said. It is a fun experience and it's nice to have a little bit of freedom. I know for a fact that I didn't explore every town and I'm pretty sure there were some objectives that I didn't discover. But on the whole it was a good mission and it felt good bringing weapons back to the camp.

However, there are a few things though that I'd change. But before I go into that, what's the deal with the guy in the barn with the blood everywhere? I assumed it was part of some story but despite following the blood trail and the footprints there was nothing happening. There was no text, no dialogue. I figured that a trigger or script wasn't firing, unless I've missed something. I did explore the whole surrounding area for about 10 minutes. The blood trail was a pretty cool thing to find though, never seen anything like that before.

I was expecting perhaps a note in the UAZ or on the soldier or even on the ground but there wasn't anything. So, not sure what was happening there.

I was actually expecting the mission to end after bringing the medical supplies back and the whole killing the agent thing was a nice surprise. However one thing I would do is put the dialogue between Tomas and Kamil within a cutscene. Reason being is what's stopping me from just running out of the house and potentially breaking the mission?

Whenever I've tried making missions in the past I always ask what can the player do to break the mission. Dialogue scenes therefore should be done without the player having control of his movements. It's just asking for trouble.

But anyway, I killed the agent whilst hiding in the latrine behind Kamil's house. Figured that may even have been what was intended. Although when Kamil walked past he did yell at me to get into the backyards as the agent was right behind him (which he wasn't). That whole part of the mission was a nice ending and unexpected as well. Good job here.

So I think that's all for now. Moving onto the next one  :)
Title: Re: [SP/CAMP] Black Lands (Arma 3)
Post by: Undeceived on 13 Jul 2018, 11:38:06
Thanks! :)

That part with the UAZ is not so obvious even though at first it seems so. The dead soldier is a "dead end", but it's explained later. You would have to follow the footprints and look around where they "show to" (towards the forest). There's a small hut in that forest...

I think I'll give the player a LITTLE bit more of a hint on that but all in all I don't want to give away this side-story too easily. I loved these hidden intel and spots in the Arma 2 campaign - you had to look around a lot and think and search. Often you'd never find them but when they were (emotionally) extremely rewarding (not necessarily in a materialistic way).
The reward of this side-story is not something that you need at all costs, but if you find it you will have something useful (in this case: information).

Thanks for the idea with the cutscenes in the conversation with Kamil. I'll implement cinema stripes which take the control of the player.

 :good:
Title: Re: [SP/CAMP] Black Lands (Arma 3)
Post by: Gruntage on 13 Jul 2018, 23:58:56
I actually did follow the footprints into the forest but I couldn't see a hut. Perhaps if you had the footprints going a bit further. When I next play the mission I'll give it a better look.

But anyway, so moving onto....

Martin's List

I have to say this mission really got the blood flowing; very enjoyable experience and well thought out. Quite challenging as well and it really offers a great deal. One minute you're riding a bus and next minute you're dodging helicopter fire in a motorboat  :D Also once again we get to see some amazing camerawork and storytelling...the flashback scenes were brilliantly done.

To be honest there really isn't much to comment on because it is really good. Definately an evening well spent. However.... ;)

There are a few things that I think could do with tweaking. Most of them quality of life changes with only one minor bug.

The first thing I will mention and I'm pretty sure that this will not change and that's your teammates not having weapons at the start. And by start I mean when you're clear of Novy Sobor. Unfortunately the first engagement was a bit of a mess for me. I parked the vehicle about 400m away from the camp not far from the Prud lake, and I left my guys there because they were unarmed and of no use to me.

I dealt with the enemies at the camp and told my guys to come to me. That was a mistake because a UAZ with reinforcements arrived and it was a miracle that they didn't kill any of my guys because they were in the open. I was able to deal with the reinforcements and give my guys weapons etc.

Before we go any further though, I should mention the bug. Basically the setcaptive you have in place is being removed too late. I could see troops at the camp as friendly when they should be enemy. Best time to remove it I think is when the 'stay undetected' objective completes.

Anyway, so I spent a lot of time trying to give my troops the right loadouts. Too much time as a matter of fact. When I went to the convoy marker I saw the convoy was already there, and a brief engagement resulted in all of us being catapulted by T72 fire. That pretty much ruled out any possibility of using my troops; they're not intelligent enough to employ hit and run tactics and for me micromanaging them would be a nightmare. So when I reloaded I just left my guys at the camp, grabbed an RPG launcher and went alone.

I destroyed the trucks easily enough and we all went the lake. If I'm being totally honest I think your teammates are pretty redundant here. I ended up doing the entire mission solo because it was easier. I didn't need extra firepower because we're guerillas and we're not supposed to get into stand-up fights. Also I generally do missions as solo and I've never been a massive fan of AI groups.

I'm not suggesting removing your teammates because someone will find them useful, but I didn't. But at least you know the mission can be done solo. If I had known I was gonna be doing the mission solo from the start I probably would have reached the convoy location a lot sooner and had time to lay a trap. Also for some reason I couldn't take mines out of the crate. I had bag space so I can't understand why it wouldn't let me...unless you've got to be a specific unit type.

So yeah, to sum up, team can be a real liability....which I've found in many missions not just yours.

So moving onto the second part...

I did find this one pretty cool and it works well. Great for people like me who do prefer stealth, and I really liked the radio conversation and flashback. Very well done indeed. I have just one gripe about this mission, and that's the radio chatter between me and Kamil.

I have to admit, the constant 'foot mobiles at 12 oclock' really annoyed me and it was an immersion breaker. Because I was doing this mission solo (who'd have guessed), the radio chat was unnecessary and it was hard to concentrate because it was literally all the time. With it being a stealth mission, I reckon a good ol' fashioned 'enableradio false' would work wonders here.

Apart from that, all in all very fun indeed. Actually can't wait for the next one  :good:

Hope this is useful

Title: Re: [SP/CAMP] Black Lands (Arma 3)
Post by: Undeceived on 14 Jul 2018, 00:12:50
Many thanks mate!

Yeah, the AI is useless in many situations, I think we all know that. 😁

Interestingly enough - in many playthroughs, when trying to escape from the radar base, Kamil did a hell of a job and sometimes I'd hide behind him as he's really an ex-special forces guy. 😁

But at the convoy... Yeah, going alone is better for many approaches to destroy it, I have to admit that. Nevertheless I'll keep this as it is.

And the risk to get caught by the Russians is too high, which is why only Tomas will carry weapons at the mission start.

Thanks a lot!
Title: Re: [SP/CAMP] Black Lands (Arma 3)
Post by: Undeceived on 14 Jul 2018, 13:18:07
I read your feedback again and have one more question: As you killed the soldiers at the weapon stash, did you notice the hint that you can use team switch in order to speed up the arming process?
Title: Re: [SP/CAMP] Black Lands (Arma 3)
Post by: Gruntage on 14 Jul 2018, 13:47:05
I did notice that hint and I was using the teamswitch feature, but it still took a while to give them the decent loadouts...not to mention that I had to move them out of the camp individually because their pathfinding sucked and they got stuck on the netting  ::)
Title: Re: [SP/CAMP] Black Lands (Arma 3)
Post by: Gruntage on 14 Jul 2018, 16:48:17
So, I had the opportunity to actually finish the campaign today, so now I can give a review on the last two missions and finally on the campaign as a whole. This will probably be a wall of text so you have been warned  ;)

Inner Abscess

Straight off the bat this is very atmospheric and the fog was a very nice touch. To be honest there isn't that much to say on this one because it functions well and has everything a good mission needs. The briefing has a little mistake: needs to be 'sooner or later' not 'earlier or later'.

One little detail that I liked was the T72 wreck on the way to the first question-mark as it were. I actually thought it was a real T72  :blink: Good thing it wasn't we didn't have any RPGs.

I suppose the dialogue could perhaps be put in a cutscene for the same reason as the last mission. I could literally run around and do anything mid-conversation and it's a bit of an immersion breaker. The only thing to mention is whether it's possible to disable the radio chatter when your group members join the woman or Volja.

That pretty much covers that mission; short and sweet and functions well.

Moving onto....

Alexej Pribotow

So this is the last mission and it's very difficult to express how I feel about this one if I'm being honest. It is a fun mission and a decent conclusion to the story, but on reflection I'm wondering whether it could have had more action to it.

This mission is the conclusion to the story (for now) and everything has been building up to it presumably, so I was expecting something bigger, to really finish the Pribotow story arch. I like what you've done with it, but I suppose if you want my input on story I think you need to have the following element to be more of a chasing element that goes across the whole of Chernarus. At this point in time the Russians are not important; they are secondary to revenge on this guy. All that matters is getting even with Alexej. This is a golden opportunity and nothing is as important as this. At least that was how I saw it.

This Alexei Pribotow is a pretty pivotal character; we've heard so much about him. Really he is the main antagonist of this part of the story...probably more important than the Russians at this point because it's more personal. So I think the conclusion needs to be more befitting how important he is. What we have right now is a little bit underwhelming if I'm being totally honest. Maybe I just was expecting more.

So going back to what I said before, I think it would be cool if you and your guys were discovered by Alexej in the town and then it's an all-out cat and mouse chase with the Russians in pursuit as well. Maybe if the capturing of Alexej was more elaborate somehow. Maybe even putting the player in direct control of the different characters (similar to that ArmA 1 mission) and then giving each character a different objective to complete.

I know it sounds quite Hollywood-esque but I feel that's what's needed here. I know all this involves reworking the mission and I'd understand if you don't want story input.

Technically there's only one issue that can prevent the mission from ending and that's one of your guys getting stuck on a table in Alexej's house. I can't teamswitch into them to fix it so the mission kinda stops at that point. Unless you know about it beforehand in which case you can just keep your two guys on the outskirts of the camp and then they won't get stuck. Maybe putting Alexej in another house or maybe a tent would fix the problem.

The end cutscene was great and it sets up nicely for a continuation of the story.

Campaign Review

This is actually the first campaign I've reviewed...well the first custom made campaign I've reviewed I should say. All in all it was a good gameplay experience and the cinema was expertly done and there weren't really many technical issues. The atmosphere was super as was the music choice. Every mission tied in well to each other and I liked how every character was relevant. 

I think this campaign has delivered everything that one would come to expect from a Resistance campaign. I think it's impossible to not make comparisons to the OFP campaign so I'll go ahead and say that in my opinion you've delivered something that was as good if not better. I think you did right what that campaign did wrong, if that makes sense. You captured the feeling of oppression and struggle and I think you succeeded in making the audience care about the characters and about the story. That to me is an absolute necessity when it comes to story telling.

Anyway, I'll leave it here and probably save it for the actual review (if you want one of course)  ;)

I'll be more than happy to play it again to test new stuff out. Was a cool experience and well worth the time spent  :good:

Title: Re: [SP/CAMP] Black Lands (Arma 3)
Post by: Undeceived on 14 Jul 2018, 19:37:20
Gruntage, I can only say thanks a million for your good feedback and your time! :clap:

Wow, your ideas for the Pribotow missions are great. If I had the other missions finished already I'd expand that one right away. Especially the thought with the guys having to accomplish different tasks got my brain started working and I had to brake it down a bit. :)

Your and Clayman's feedback (BIF) got me busy with these first 8 missions for days (that's a compliment! :D ) - now I finally have to move on to the next ones. There are still some heavy plot twists to experience for the player, but for me still a lot of work to do. :D

I'd appreciate it if you'd test the next ones as well. I'm planning to release missions 9-13 next, but I think this will take some weeks.
Title: Re: [SP/CAMP] Black Lands (Arma 3)
Post by: Undeceived on 26 Jul 2018, 16:03:23
Just a small note - at the moment I don't need further beta tests. I'm working on the next missions and when they're ready, you (if you're interested and have time) could get started.

Thanks a lot.
Title: Re: [SP/CAMP] Black Lands (Arma 3)
Post by: Gruntage on 26 Jul 2018, 21:15:47
Take your time man, I'm in no hurry  :) Looking forward to the next part of the story  :good:
Title: Re: [SP/CAMP] Black Lands (Arma 3)
Post by: Undeceived on 31 Aug 2018, 23:32:58
Hello... :whistle:

So here we are with the next pile of missions.

v. 0.6

I hope everything works somehow. :) Thanks for any feedback! :good:
Title: Re: [SP/CAMP] Black Lands (Arma 3)
Post by: Gruntage on 01 Sep 2018, 23:33:55
Will hopefully get to this tomorrow  :)
Title: Re: [SP/CAMP] Black Lands (Arma 3)
Post by: mathias_eichinger on 09 Sep 2018, 18:03:36
Ha, managed to get my login for OFPEC back!  :D


Intro

I am totally awed by the quality of the intro - it's long, the camera angles are perfect, the text is slow enough to read, the musical pieces are artful as well - hardly be able to improve this (as voiceacting would be at odds with the music).  :good:
Title: Re: [SP/CAMP] Black Lands (Arma 3)
Post by: Undeceived on 10 Sep 2018, 12:46:27
Thanks for your time, Mathias.
Title: Re: [SP/CAMP] Black Lands (Arma 3)
Post by: Gruntage on 16 Sep 2018, 13:06:26
Alrighty, so let's dive into this one again. I don't have a lot of time today so I may only get one mission done. When I have more time I'll give the campain a playthrough from the start to see what's changed. For now though, it's onto...

Petrovka Strike (Preparations) & Petrovka Strike

I'll be writing this as I do the mission so that I don't end up forgetting anything. First thing I noticed though and I'm not sure if anything can be done about this, but it seems that the title box on the loading screen isn't large enough to accomodate 'Preparations'. Maybe shorten it to 'Prep'? It's a minor point but it's the first thing I noticed.

As always the briefing is first rate and gives me everything I need to know.

Ok so now onto the mission itself. Maybe I'm missing something but doesn't Kamil need a backpack of sorts? I gave Tomas an rpg launcher and few satchels, but I couldn't equip Kamil with anything. Instead I gave him the gun bag of the nearby DshKm and I gave Tomek the tripod. Again with Tomek I was faced with the same issue. I wanted to give take more mines etc but couldn't. So I'll have to make do with what I have. Unless there is some clever way of giving each person specific items in order to maximise the amount you can take.

I'd personally just give each a guy a backpack for the sake of ease.

But anyway. So we've moved to the convoy ambush site, and I personally think that showing the briefing again is unnecessary. I literally read it 3 minutes ago  :D I don't know if you can disable it when you move from one mission to the next. Actually just a thought, do you really need to have 2 separate missions for this? Is there any reason why you need to have the preparation in a different mission? I'd have thought that just skipping time and teleporting the player and his team would have been enough. Whether you have them together or separate doesn't really matter and doesn't really impact gameplay, but I'd at least ditch the second briefing if you do have them as they are now.

Taking out the convoy was surprisingly smooth and without any issues. Really didn't have much time to plan though. Pretty much had to attack from where we were.  So after that we met up with the pilot. Now, I'm writing this as I'm playing it as I said. Just one thing that is confusing me a little and I'm not sure if it was said in the briefing. Why do we need to equip Tomek if he's leaving the group early in the mission? I gave that guy the tripod for the DshKm and now of course he's left with it, meaning I can't use the DshKm now.

Just reading the briefing again and it does say that he'll meet us at the castle later. But still, it seems rather redundant to give him stuff if you're gonna lose it pretty early in the mission. The convoy wasn't hard to beat so I'm just not sure why we needed to give him anything. I'd even go so far as to ask why have Tomek in this stage of the mission at all? Does the convoy really require 3 people as opposed to 2? He just seems a bit unnecessary that's all. At least from my perspective. Not sure if the convoy is harder to beat on some playthroughs because of randomness.

But anyway. I have to say the camera work is top notch and the suspense is great. I was hoping there'd be a mission like this. I took out the guy with one shot to the head and proceeded to sprint to the castle. I thought that the run the castle would be uneventful. But, the plot thickens it seems. Not sure how I'm gonna be able to take out any infantry and mid range with a long range sniper rifle but I'll give it a try  ;)

One thing that I thought is very weird and I'm not sure if this is intended. But I can still teamswitch to Tomek! Was this supposed to happen? What happens to Tomas and Kamil if I teamswitch? Either way I'm gonna find out.

Anyway I cleared the town as Tomek. Not sure if this was supposed to happen but I did it anyway. After doing so I switched back to Tomas and then got told to Meet Nemec. Despite finding Tomek where I left him, he wouldn't join my group (not sure if he's supposed to or if there's supposed to be some dialogue at least). Anyway, time go meet Nemec.

So I met Nemec, gathered the team and got them rearmed and took the base without too much trouble. I did however have to turn the terrain detail down to low just to be able to see the enemy. Of course the enemy can see through the grass. Not exactly fair but there you go.

Unfortunately though I lost all my new guys on the way to the truck; got caught by a patrol and my team was too spread out. You tell them to return to formation but sadly they are not very good at following this order. Oh well, they got their revenge at least. When I got to the truck however a Russian soldier appeared and shot me. Not sure if that was intended but it was a very good ambush. Shortlived however because I can reload and kill him  :D

Anyway, so myself and Kamil finished off the guys in the hideout and the mission finished.

So what do I think. Well, it feels like the mission can do with being shorter honestly. I think there was a little too much running for my liking and it felt a bit repetitive. You kill the officer, run the village, then run to the shed, then run to the guys in the forest, then run to the base, then run to the truck....You get the picture.

It plays well and the atmosphere is great. There aren't any bugs that I can tell. Though I get the impression that team switching to Tomek in the village is not intended. Aside from that, it's pretty good. Long mission though, took me about 3 hours.

That's about as much as I can play today though. Will carry on when time permits. Probably Tuesday.

Hope this helps



Title: Re: [SP/CAMP] Black Lands (Arma 3)
Post by: Undeceived on 16 Sep 2018, 20:14:24
Many thanks, Gruntage! :good: Congratulations on that one-shot kill! :)

Yes, I also think that the mission is very long. It was long already in A2 but in A3 the characters even run slower. Still didn't have a good idea how to shorten it. Maybe cut it in half after Grishino and before Nemec calls? But then, what sense would it make? It would be only a cut, maybe with a new briefing that summarizes the mission... But it would be kind of redundant IMO.
Another way would be to skip a part of the walking, e.g. from the colonel to Grishino (fade out, position T and K a bit further, fade in). But especially that part is quite suspenseful and skipping some meters - I don't know...
If you have good idea it would be great.

Switching to Tomek isn't intended at all btw. :D and I will fix this. I want the player to feel Tomek's fear and helplessness so that he steps on the gas so to speak, but he has to move on slowly nevertheless because of the patrols.

Good point with Tomek at the beginning too. I think I will add another armored vehicle as truck protection so that the whole team is needed.

I'll give Kamil a proper backpack and will check out your suggestion for the briefing. I'm not sure but it could be that it's not needed a second time.

Looking forward to your next feedback. :)
Title: Re: [SP/CAMP] Black Lands (Arma 3)
Post by: Gruntage on 17 Sep 2018, 00:24:53
Quote
Still didn't have a good idea how to shorten it. Maybe cut it in half after Grishino and before Nemec calls? But then, what sense would it make? It would be only a cut, maybe with a new briefing that summarizes the mission... But it would be kind of redundant IMO.
Another way would be to skip a part of the walking, e.g. from the colonel to Grishino (fade out, position T and K a bit further, fade in). But especially that part is quite suspenseful and skipping some meters - I don't know...
If you have good idea it would be great.

Ok so I have been giving this some thought. In order to make this a bit easier, let's break the mission down into 4 sections:

A) Sniping the officer
B) Saving Private Tomek
C) Meeting Nemec
D) Taking the base

Alright so let's talk about A & B first. Everything up to the point when you receive the objective to save Tomek is fine as it is. In terms of pacing and story up to this point, it's fine. Now I do have an idea about the rescuing Tomek part. So we see that the Red Star guys have massacred this village. What if they carry onto another village, but the player has a chance to get to this village to warn the villagers of what's coming....BUT, the player has to make a choice: save those villagers or save Tomek. The player can't do both.

This puts the player in a very difficult and challenging position. In a lot of missions we see very contrived storylines where everything goes to plan without any issues. In reality of course, war is not like that. So far I don't think the player has had to make difficult decisions like this before, so perhaps we've reached a point in the story when it would be good move to make.

I also wonder whether we've come far enough so that the loss of a character would have an impact on the player. I don't know whether you intended to keep all the characters alive until the end. I'm willing to bet that you intended to at least kill one off before the end. But, we'll see  :D

To be honest, all the way through the campaign I've been expecting one of my guys to get killed in some way. I was expecting it in the Alexei Pribotow mission as a sort of cliffhanger. This is a very good aspect of the campaign because you get a sense of danger.

The idea of presenting the player with a difficult ethical decision is something I've thought about doing in one of my missions. What's the 'right' thing to do? Save one man or save many? It's the kind of thing that does belong in this story. Question is though, does this still make the mission fun? I suppose that's what everything boils down to in the end.

Your decision to save either Tomek or the villagers could and probably should impact the rest of the story. Perhaps if you save the villagers they may join you. If you save Tomek but leave the villagers to their fate, what would be the consequences? Would your guys think less of you? What would Tomek think? I think this adds a lot of depth to this mission and to the campaign. Maybe you could have a sort of discussion over the radio to create tension.

Anyway, that's what I think about A&B.

So what about C&D?

Well, to be honest if I were making the mission I'd go with the new A&B and ditch C&D. If you chose to keep C&D and put them in another mission then you'd need to flesh that mission out. Right now I don't think there's enough substance with these two for them to be in a separate mission. They're ok as far as objectives go. Personally though, I think there's enough in the new A&B to compensate for not having C&D. Do C&D really add to the story that much?

Ultimately the decision is yours to make. Reducing the amount of walking would definitely be a plus, because it did feel very repetitive. But if you choose to go with the new A&B and ditch C&D then reducing the amount of walking would be done anyway.

Those are my thoughts anyway. I am looking forward to carrying on with this, it does make you want to come back to it.
Title: Re: [SP/CAMP] Black Lands (Arma 3)
Post by: Undeceived on 17 Sep 2018, 08:21:15
Wow, that decision (Tomek or the civilians) is great and I really liked it. It's even so good that I'd really implement it if there weren't some designing / story aspects in the way. Problem 1 is that Tomek is story-relevant and thus can't die at this point.

A short spoiler, nothing too important:

Spoiler (click to show/hide)

Problem 2 is that there are not many villages up there in the north. I'm at work right now so I can't check the map but I think that the only village around is the one south of Grishino, where Jegor and his friends come from. That means: Why not rescue Tomek while on the way there?

As to ditching parts C and D: It's worth a thought but there are two things that I need: meet Jegor and his friends as they are part of the group from there on and finish the mission at these ruins in the south (Kumyrna) as the next mission starts from there just some hours later.

So as much as I loved your idea with the decision, I still don't have it sorted out how to realize it. Maybe I could send a fourth guy in the team on the mission that dies when the player decides not to rescue him (and Tomek survives wounded). But who? Sergej is visiting his I'll mom and Petja is not an option. Hmm....

Also (if there's no second village around) is there another thing we could use as decision factor? Not a village but something else (similarly problematic)?

I don't know how to express it better in English but you really got me with this idea and I'd like to keep on thinking about it. :good:


EDIT:
Something that comes to my mind: I could meet Jegor and his friends not on their way to the Russian camp but either on their way to Grishino or fighting in their own village (and taking heavy losses). And the travel to the Russian camp (revenge) and then to Kumyrna could be a next mission.

Title: Re: [SP/CAMP] Black Lands (Arma 3)
Post by: Gruntage on 18 Sep 2018, 21:25:26
Alright so I resumed my playthrough this eve, and I think my post can be summarised in one word: wow  :D

I haven't finished the campaign yet, I'll save the ending for another time. But before we go into what I played tonight, I'll just re-address the Petrovka mission briefly.

On reflection I do realise that my idea would require some planning before-hand, i.e. shaping the story around it. But still, 'twas worth sharing. I don't think you should invent another character to make it work....the idea would only really work with someone whom the player has an attachment to. Someone like Martin or Tomek for instance. If you create another guy, the decision would be quite easy for the player to make because he won't really care about the new guy.

I'm also not sure about splitting the mission. Sure you could split it, and the best place would be right after rescuing Tomek and just before you go meet Nemec. But I'd be concerned that there isn't enough going on in C&D right now. Unless, the guys you meet in the forest want you to help them take back their village and then go for the base. The guys you meet would be from another village of course. That could work.

If you're against splitting the mission, then I'd strongly recommend reducing the amount of running at least. Maybe unlocking a few vehicles. In some of the later missions I stopped looking for unlocked vehicles because every vehicle I came across was locked. Anyway, it's up to you.

Now, onto:

Resurrection & Stealing the Camera

With Resurrection there isn't much to report, apart from the absolutely amazing feat of cinema. I mean, seriously, it felt like watching a movie. I have to admit though, the twist was briefly lost on me because I hadn't seen Dmitri for a long time and I was like 'who's this guy?'  :whistle: But the lead-up to the twist was very well done. The action sequence was easily the best part.

Incredible work here. The mission itself worked fine, no issues at all. I did wonder though whether it is possible to kill the guys outside the house at the start. I figured it was impossible but I tried it anyway for the sake of testing. Each try resulted in me dying, which is fine...working as intended  :D

So, onto Stealing the Camera.

To be honest it's hard to say how I feel about this one. It seemed rather underwhelming and not all that engaging in terms of gameplay. We've gone from being a heroic Resistance leader, calling the shots etc, to just being a follower. I would have liked to have seen something more tactical. This is what I mean.

From my perspective at least, we the Resistance movement are probably the most knowledgeable of the Russian/Red Star tactics at this point, and that makes us incredibly valuable in terms of the intel we provide. We know where the Russians are strongest and where they are weakest, presumably. Therefore, I would totally expect to be the one coordinating this operation really. Not being baby-sat as one of the Marines put it. It's funny that he said because that's exactly how it felt.

Not only would I have expected to be the one leading the operation but also coordinating the assault from the supporting teams. We had the Germans and the Czechs apparently in the AO, yet we never saw them and they didn't contribute. Seemed like a missed opportunity.

More depth could have been added to the mission in terms of other objectives. Maybe there could have been hostages being held in the castle. Maybe the castle was being used to question and interrogate. Otherwise, why is the castle of importance to the Russians? Why are they guarding it?

Also, we see in the opening cutscene that NATO can't be openly involved, yet the mission finishes with a US helicopter openly flying around Chenarus  :P We may as well be flying around waving a US flag. It felt a bit weird and not all that plausible.

The next mission is in Utes, so I'd totally expect to be going with the Marines in scuba gear to a submarine or something to finish. Just needs something a bit more special than a chopper pick-up. Something that cries out Special Forces. Something that cries out, Black Op.

I'm sorry if that's too critical. I really like this campaign and I'm invested in making it better.

As I said, I'll save the ending for another time  :)

Title: Re: [SP/CAMP] Black Lands (Arma 3)
Post by: Undeceived on 18 Sep 2018, 22:47:15
Thanks, Gruntage. No, it's not too critical at all. It's exactly what I need. :good:

I can understand that you feel that especially the camera mission is a bit underwhelming. Yeah, it's kind of straight forward and there would really be some chances to improve it. But that's not on my top priority list at the moment. Other than that I want the player to feel the desperation Tomas feels. His hopes didn't come true so far but now, running with the Marines he feels that he and his men are almost there (even though they are still far away from their goal). He doesn't feel like that warlord resistance leader. He does feel like someone who urgently needs help.

That said, this idea really blew me away!
Quote
Maybe there could have been hostages being held in the castle.
Man, you and Clayman really are specialists in overloading me with more work with your awesome ideas! :D

The chopper ending is illogical, I agree completely. :D Maybe I should add a civilian chopper or a safehouse in the forest where the mission ends... I'll think about it.

Good point with Dimitri too. Maybe I'll implement a short flash back how he dies so that the player recognizes him immediately... Thanks!
Title: Re: [SP/CAMP] Black Lands (Arma 3)
Post by: Undeceived on 18 Sep 2018, 22:53:13
Btw. the mission on Utes isn't the last mission of the campaign. There are still around 7 to come.
Title: Re: [SP/CAMP] Black Lands (Arma 3)
Post by: Gruntage on 19 Sep 2018, 08:39:17
Quote
I can understand that you feel that especially the camera mission is a bit underwhelming. Yeah, it's kind of straight forward and there would really be some chances to improve it. But that's not on my top priority list at the moment. Other than that I want the player to feel the desperation Tomas feels. His hopes didn't come true so far but now, running with the Marines he feels that he and his men are almost there (even though they are still far away from their goal). He doesn't feel like that warlord resistance leader. He does feel like someone who urgently needs help.

Fair enough. Though if you want to try and make the player feel relieved that NATO are now involved, I'd try and make NATO's presence seem a bit stronger than it does currently. Make them seem more professional. I don't necessarily mean adding more troops; in fact it's best if you don't add more because it's still supposed to be a covert operation. But I would recommend bringing the KSK and the Czechs into the fight, visibly. Maybe we need more dialogue from the Marines about the operation ahead. Maybe it's just a case of making the 'mission' seem a lot more than it actually is. Make the marines seem more than just a normal squad of infantry is what I'm saying.

I understand the feeling you're trying to create; it just seems to be falling short right now. From my experience anyway.

Quote
Good point with Dimitri too. Maybe I'll implement a short flash back how he dies so that the player recognizes him immediately... Thanks!

I think my not knowing who Dmitri was is down to taking a long break between the two chapters  :D A flashback would be good to see anyway.

Quote
Btw. the mission on Utes isn't the last mission of the campaign. There are still around 7 to come.

That's good, didn't know there was another chapter to this  :)
Title: Re: [SP/CAMP] Black Lands (Arma 3)
Post by: Undeceived on 19 Sep 2018, 13:55:17
Quote
Maybe we need more dialogue from the Marines about the operation ahead
Quote
Make them seem more professional
Do you have any more specific ideas how to do that? How would I highlight them a bit more for being a specops unit? Just asking because there are no official NATO troops in Chernarus and these covert units are the only ones (yeah, I'll scratch the US evac chopper :D ). Thus there are no ordinary squads around that these guys would fail to stand out against. You know what I mean?

Thanks for your ideas, mate, I really appreciate it that you are spending so much time and thoughts on it.

Actually I think there are even 2 or 3 chapters to come. But I'm not sure if I will beta-release them as whole chapters. I might update when I finish one or two of the missions.
Title: Re: [SP/CAMP] Black Lands (Arma 3)
Post by: Gruntage on 19 Sep 2018, 23:43:52
Alright so now I have some time to reply  :D

I know what I said was a bit vague so hopefully this'll help. If I was given this mission to design as a project, there's a number of things I'd do to make this seem more 'special'. In my opinion you want to make these guys seem ultra-professional in order so that you don't have the player thinking that these guys aren't even that good.

Firstly, I'd make the Marines the KSK instead. Why? Because the KSK are the guys who rescued Tomas and so straight away they've had a pretty cool impact. We've just had that amazing action sequence, so the notion of Tomas going on an operation with these guys sounds and feels pretty cool. They've already been made to look awesome in the cinematic, so that's half the battle right there.

You can still have the Marines, just put them where KSK were in that mission.

Secondly, choose a different time of day for the operation. This goes back to what I was saying about it supposedly being a covert operation. These guys are not gonna operate in broad daylight. Any Russian is going to be able to recognise who these guys are; by their gear, their uniform etc. So, go for a dusk/dawn or even night time operation instead.

Not only is this more realistic but it also makes the operation feel more 'special'. Subtle things like this really make a difference, despite the objective being rather simple. Operation Rattlesnake was built on this principle.

Those are the two things I'd change straight away. I would also implement the hostage idea...or at least make the castle seem more important. Killing the radio antenna is ok, although the explosion can be heard for miles. I'm not sure if you wanted stealth to be a factor. That's up to you really.

As far as dialogue between the specop guys is concerned, I know I said that perhaps more dialogue is needed. But, I'm wondering whether it's better to keep the amount of dialogue down to a minimum, if any. I think this makes them more interesting. Their minds are totally focused on the operation ahead, so perhaps they don't want to break concentration with chit chat. Also would Tomas be able to speak German? Not sure if that's something to consider.  The KSK don't come across as being the gung-ho type, so maybe keeping them silent might make them seem more professional.

I think I'd have to see this in action to see. Unfortunately we're talking about how things feel, and that ultimately is down to personal opinion.

I hope that helps a little
Title: Re: [SP/CAMP] Black Lands (Arma 3)
Post by: Undeceived on 22 Sep 2018, 09:00:37
Thanks a lot, Gruntage, yeah, that helped a lot.

I'll stick with the Marines (I want to show other NATO specops than the KSK too and ze Germans will have another appearance in a later mission), but I'll change/add some things like dusk or dawn, sabotage of the antenna instead of blowing it up, hostages, personal contact to the KSK or the Czechs so that they take care of the hostages, no U.S.M.C. chopper (civilian one or safehouse in the forest).
Maybe silencers even though I don't know it makes sense because the Russians will shoot as well and if possible I'd like to keep the different weapon types in the group (means: LMG too) as this way it easier to distinguish the members in the conversations. Speaking of different weapons: there will be an explosion anyway because of the UAZ coming to reinforce the antenna...
Title: Re: [SP/CAMP] Black Lands (Arma 3)
Post by: Gruntage on 22 Sep 2018, 21:15:12
Alright so I was able to have a little play at The Mole. I haven't finished it yet, but I can give some feedback based on what I've seen so far.

It's certainly looking to be a very clever mission with some very interesting problem solving to do. I was able to take out the first officer using what I think was the intended method. Knock out the two guys in the garden next door, then knock out 'vasily' and then shoot the officer. It took a few tries to work out a system of misdirection.

But before that though, it didn't seem clear that in order to take out the first guy you'd need to turn him around and then do it. Not too much of a problem, I did figure it out in the end.

One thing I am noticing though is that doesn't take much for the enemies to notice you. Some of those guys can see through fences, and of course when the bullets start flying it's basically game over. Also for some reason some of those guys switch to combat mode but without raising the alarm. Surely if the level of 'danger' is such that you hit the dirt then the alarm should be raised. 

It's certainly a very challenging mission so far but I wonder whether the enemies are too observant. It is dark after all and I'm always moving in the shadows yet they see me anyway. I've run into this problem as well....funny really we often complain that the AI are stupid yet there are times when we want them to be. Getting spotted by a guy through a fence is a bit annoying but it's not the end of the world. Just means having to reload and try something else.

It's a bit like a steady hand game, or treading a tightrope. Seems like I do have to go down a very specific route to avoid detection. But it's good though; it makes you have to think, which is exactly what a stealth mission should be. I know when I'm playing a very good mission because I'm often thinking why on earth didn't I do this  :D. The system of team switching and distracting is very clever indeed. Very Splinter-cell/Metal Gear-esque.

Will resume playing tomorrow
Title: Re: [SP/CAMP] Black Lands (Arma 3)
Post by: Undeceived on 22 Sep 2018, 21:32:06
Thanks, I really was looking forward to read what you think about this mission (just as much I was looking forward to read your feedback on the Resurrection cutscene, for which I needed MONTHS! :D).
I don't know if you know the Commandos game series (a tactical strategy game set in WWII). This mission was inspired by this.

Never had it that the AI detects Tomas through fences or so. What are your AI skill settings? Mine are: Skill 0.70 and Precision 0.50.

Quote
Seems like I do have to go down a very specific route to avoid detection.
There are some routes through the village, not only one.
Title: Re: [SP/CAMP] Black Lands (Arma 3)
Post by: Gruntage on 23 Sep 2018, 08:44:51
I actually have the AI turned all the way down, because if you recall from earlier tests I was having issues with the seemingly unstoppable AI, sometimes even in missions when their 'skill' was very low.

I have encountered this problem elsewhere and was actually the reason why a couple of my projects were shelved. Even with their perception turned down to basically 0, or with parts of their AI disabled, they would still see the player through certain objects; cargo containers in this case. In this case they actually tried to shoot the player through the container, like they'd empty their weapons at the container with the player on the other side. Very annoying and I never worked out a solution.

I wouldn't call the issue gamebreaking, just that the player needs to adjust his strategy to deal with it. In my case it means having to keep my distance, or use the Spy to make them look the other way. Although I'm not sure if I'll need to do this with 2 guys at the same time and how that would work.

Will carry on playing later
Title: Re: [SP/CAMP] Black Lands (Arma 3)
Post by: Undeceived on 23 Sep 2018, 10:17:51
I hate it when I'm not able to reproduce issues that others have. :dry:

Yes, it's possible to have more than one soldier paying attention to the spy.
Title: Re: [SP/CAMP] Black Lands (Arma 3)
Post by: Gruntage on 23 Sep 2018, 16:29:32
Ok so I came back to it to see how far I'd get. I was able to take out all 3 officers; the third one was annoying to get and in the end I just went in the pistol and shot all three guys in that area. Sometimes the brute force approach is best I find.

Unfortunately though, the 'kill the officers' part of the mission is where I come to a dead-end. I cannot use that machine-gun to shoot cans off a fence, let alone take out guys shooting at the spy. Despite steadying the rifle and using the bi-pod, the recoil makes it impossible to shoot enemies quickly. And I need a lot of speed to take out those guys without shooting the spy. If I had a sniper rifle or even a DMR that would help, just something that doesn't have bad recoil. At the moment it's pretty much impossible, and I'm not gonna lie, it's frustrating.

I'll tell you this, I cannot stand the whole 'protect this guy from enemy fire' concept. I've played a lot of games that use this, and it's never been fun; just annoying and a relief when you finally do it. I daresay some people like it, but for me, it just isn't fun.

I would have preferred it if I was the spy and I've got to get in and out myself. Maybe even whilst trying to maintain stealth. I would have also thought that the moment bullets start flying from anyone the alarm bells would be ringing, and it would virtually impossible to get off an island that small without getting killed. Also the spy is getting shot at, yet he's just strolling along like it's a day at the beach. If I was getting shot at and I was holding critical information I'd be sprinting from cover to cover. That adds to the frustration because you're there telling him to move his ass.

Annoying thing is though, this is a really cool mission with suspense throughout, but I just don't like the 'protect the spy' part. It feels a bit like a 'whack-a-mole' game. A silenced sniper rifle might make it more tolerable, but unfortunately I think it's the concept itself I dislike more than the choice of weapon.
Title: Re: [SP/CAMP] Black Lands (Arma 3)
Post by: Undeceived on 23 Sep 2018, 20:04:30
:D Reading your feedback I literally sensed that you didn't like that part at all. :D

I'd suggest though that perhaps you'd still dislike it but not THAT much if everything had worked as intended. :-[ i.e. if the weapon worked right and the spy managed to escape (and this running, not taking a walk). :whistle:
Of course these problems (especially the walking) never occurred in my playthroughs, so .... this is Arma... >:(

I'll give my best to tweak this part so it's not that frustrating. Apart from me you're the first person ever that played it in Arma 3 so your frustration for me is valuable information. ;) Arma 2 was a lot different.

Quote
I would have preferred it if I was the spy
That's a great idea again, but this would take more time than I have right now.

I'll think about the weapon choice though. A SD sniper rifle with that high-tech scope sound like a good idea.

Thanks a lot Gruntage!
Title: Re: [SP/CAMP] Black Lands (Arma 3)
Post by: Undeceived on 23 Sep 2018, 20:56:33
(double post)


Btw, did you notice the sniper and soldier on the towers behind the HQ?

(https://fcmrmg.am.files.1drv.com/y4mFM9l2tpwPFH9aiu32ZQAO8BgLw0xui0JpKU7IpKMwu6F3ihsL2Z8rSMmSwa3eFAd2adup54wbOnaY5VNdlpMBzCiX0nljhcNXyKG9zYqIg95gu5kSpzN522GXET7JYMKCBXTHmJ1mz0lTzCot7SusaJyxRiLfyL776tlBoFmqy3NJXzTk-ywvZUi97tg66c4ScQk0-kkeUf9dmTP6zX8IQ?width=660&height=617&cropmode=none)


EDIT:
Replaced the LMG with a proper DMR with that high-tech scope. You were right. This is MUCH better! :good:
Title: Re: [SP/CAMP] Black Lands (Arma 3)
Post by: Gruntage on 23 Sep 2018, 22:14:32
I didn't notice that guy, and I'm sure there are plenty others I didn't see. I suppose knowing the range would have been useful as well. Maybe a range finder? Maybe not; it depends on how much you want to give the player.

But this kinda comes back to what I said about the 'whack-a-mole' style: trying to spot and kill everyone within a few seconds, and there's bound to be that one guy I didn't see who manages to kill the spy. Then I have to reload and do the whole thing again, and probably miss a different guy. Also what made it more annoying was the fact that these guys have body armour, so if I'm aiming for centre of mass then it will take a few rounds per guy, and that's time lost. By the time I've killed one guy, the spy is dead. Maybe the different rifle will yield different results for me.

Unfortunately I'm not as fast at aiming as I used to be in my youth; years of not playing FPS games has taken its toll  :D So this kind of gameplay just doesn't do it for me. To be honest I don't know if I'd have taken this route if I was designing the mission. I personally think that just getting the guy in the compound is challenging enough, then playing as the spy, get the documents without being spotted. I suppose thats what I'd have done.

Aside from this, the mission is very good and it has everything a stealth mission should have, and more. But this part is very much the fly in the soup.

Interestingly enough, before I found out that this was in fact not the last mission of the campaign, I actually thought this mission would play out very differently. The way the intro cinematic was going, I was convinced that the player would somehow get caught by the Russians in an attempt to help get the spy to safety, and to get the documents to NATO. A kind of sacrifice. That would make an interesting cliffhanger. But, the story is set  :D
Title: Re: [SP/CAMP] Black Lands (Arma 3)
Post by: Undeceived on 27 Sep 2018, 19:33:12
Thanks, Gruntage. Sorry for the late reply, I'm super busy in RL atm.

I have improved this part a bit already. And, as I said, the DMR makes a big difference which I didn't expect at all, tbh. Good idea.
Title: Re: [SP/CAMP] Black Lands (Arma 3)
Post by: Clayman on 01 Oct 2018, 01:26:15
So I just decided to join the party over here, too. :D
Gruntage, I really REALLY love your idea for Petrovka Strike, that the player has to choose whom to rescue. I totally agree that it would add so much depth to the mission / campaign and it perfectly fits into the storyline and the overall dark atmosphere. Undeceived, there is no way that you don't add this! ;)  :clap:

Alright, so let's start a small brainstorming and see if we can't come up with something that isn't too complicated to implement.
Finding a suitable location is no problem imho. There is another village east of Devil's Castle, Gvozno(?). From our route sniper position -> Devil's Castle it's about the same distance as Grishino, just in a different direction. Therefore the player can't reach both locations in time.
The bigger problem could actually be finding a group member who is expandable, but could as well survive. Let's see, who is in our team? Sergej, Miroslav, Tomek, Kamil, Viktor and Petja. Did I forget someone? Miroslav is no option because of Resurrection and we need Sergej for that other mission later on. (I have an idea for that mission too, btw. I'll PM you later with details.) Viktor is too new, the player won't have any relation with him, and he's too unimportant anyways. And Petja, well, after his betrayal earlier I guess most wouldn't care about his fate at all. So we have either Tomek or Kamil. Actually I think Kamil would be an interesting option, as an ex-SF guy he might be the most valauble member of my team.
On the other hand, the more I think about it, maybe Miroslav wouldn't be that bad either. Just that he doesn't get killed if I help the civies, but instead he gets captured and shows up again in Resurrection. In this case the question would be, what happens to Tomas that he ends up captured, too? Maybe he could visit Lucie's grave all alone and run into a Red Star patrol or something...
Also what are the overall consequences of each action? If he rescues Miroslav (or whichever teammate it shall be) they could try to help the civies afterwards only to find them all killed. Maybe only have Jegor alive, if he is important for the further story (not sure about that atm). And if he helps the civies instead?
Well, all in all it's not that easy to get everything right, but I do think it's totally worth all the hassle. Maybe you guys have some ideas, too?

I'd like to post more feedback here, but I'm really having a hard time writing all this in english and I can provide much more detailed feedback in german. So everything else later / tomorrow via PM. :)
Title: Re: [SP/CAMP] Black Lands (Arma 3)
Post by: Undeceived on 01 Oct 2018, 19:50:04
You guys won't settle for less as it seems. :D :D Seems that I will have to tear up some missions to get this awesome idea implemented (not only Petrovka Strike). And goodbye to my goal to finish this around the end of the year. :D

This is shaping up to something that I'm really starting to like and is more and more fitting into the "plot logic". I think the deciding factor is who is going to be the "happy one" that can die when the player chooses to save the civilians. And, Clayman, your idea with Miroslav is great! What about this (it's not perfect down to the last detail yet…)?




Title: Re: [SP/CAMP] Black Lands (Arma 3)
Post by: Undeceived on 01 Oct 2018, 19:56:23
The downside of this is that Miroslav is killed either way.
Title: Re: [SP/CAMP] Black Lands (Arma 3)
Post by: mathias_eichinger on 01 Oct 2018, 20:20:44
Due to a severe shortage of time, I can only now follow up with Death Came Upon Me.

The intro is perfect like a movie, as is the briefing. The mission itself throws up errors pretty often, and my main gripe is that the rifles are missing from those soldiers I shot just seconds before! Maybe this is a bug, but else it would be a cheap trick.  :whistle:
Armed with just a Makarov I never ventured close to the broken down UAZ but went straight to my hideout, where another perfectly executed outro kicked in.
Title: Re: [SP/CAMP] Black Lands (Arma 3)
Post by: Undeceived on 01 Oct 2018, 20:33:36
Hi Mathias, are you sure that the rifles really are gone? Sometimes when you open the dead soldier's inventory, the rifle isn't there because it landed some cm away.

Thanks a lot for testing it!


Quote
Armed with just a Makarov I never ventured close to the broken down UAZ but went straight to my hideout, where another perfectly executed outro kicked in.
That's fine. The UAZ is just a side-quest that gives you information and some special equipment (NV goggles), but it is not needed to finish the mission.
Title: Re: [SP/CAMP] Black Lands (Arma 3)
Post by: Clayman on 01 Oct 2018, 23:56:10
Quote
The downside of this is that Miroslav is killed either way.

I agree, it is pretty odd that you save Miroslav, just to watch him being killed in the very next mission. Such a vital decision must have a noticeable effect on the story. Therefore Miroslav is not a good option imho.
So what about either Kamil or Tomek? I can't remember how important both of them are for the rest of the campaign. Either way, I don't see the need to introduce a new guy to the team just to get him killed during the mission.
Title: Re: [SP/CAMP] Black Lands (Arma 3)
Post by: Undeceived on 02 Oct 2018, 00:11:26
Yeah, I think you're right... :dry: I'll check it out if I could sacrifice either Tomek or Kamil. The problem is that both of them (especially Kamil) have lots of dialogs in the remaining missions which I would have to adapt (either with someone else talking or not at all).

It's really itching me to go with Kamil as he's (as you said) the most skilled member of the group. Seeing him dying would definitely have a big impact on the player. He would perhaps think of replaying the mission but then realize that it's sooo long... :D so maybe he'd have to live with this huge loss.

BUT...... (damn - I'm noticing this while writing) Kamil is going with Tomas to kill the colonel. As he's this killing machine, it doesn't make sense to leave him behind in Grishino. So it seems Tomek is the only one left to take.
The idea is so good that I'd even agree to adapt the whole further story to it.

One remaining question: How does the player get to know about the incidents in the civilian village?

And one other thought (problem): If there are these two choices (Tomek or the civilians): Why wouldn't Tomas and Kamil split up - Tomas going to one village and Kamil to the other one?
Damn....... >:(
The only way I can think of to prevent this would be that Tomas goes alone to kill the colonel. But why should he do this without Kamil?
Or they both go to kill the colonel but only Tomas goes back. But why?

:weeping: So many obstacles in the way of this...
Title: Re: [SP/CAMP] Black Lands (Arma 3)
Post by: Clayman on 02 Oct 2018, 01:26:42
I was already thinking about the Kamil problem. There must be a good reason for him to stay in Grishino. So far I couldn't think of anything plausible. It just makes no sense for him to not join Tomas on the sniper mission. While it would be the most interesting choice dramaturgy-wise, it wouldn't work out in any logical way. And overall I think that Kamil is too important for the further story anyways. So in the end it all comes down to Tomek being the chosen one.

How the player gets to know about the second village is a good question I haven't thought about so far.  :D Maybe Gruntage can tell us, after all it was his idea.  :D

Why they don't split up is easy: There are too many enemies in both villages for only one guy. They need to work together to stand a chance.  ;)
Title: Re: [SP/CAMP] Black Lands (Arma 3)
Post by: Gruntage on 02 Oct 2018, 08:36:00
Wow you guys have given me a lot of reading to do  :D

Alright so it's been a little while since I played that mission and it's been a few days since I last played the campaign, so bear with me. How do they find out about the village? Admittedly when I first came up with the idea I thought that the information could come from Nemec in some way. Would it have been possible to pick up radio traffic? Maybe thats a bit implausible.

We have a couple of guys in the colonel's village don't we? Think Miroslav is there and he does the flash thing with his camera. I wonder if perhaps they overheard them say the names of 2 villages? 2 villages as a reprisal for the colonel's killing. Let's say Miroslav overhears this, and reports it to Tomas over the radio. Tomek is at the castle if I recall, so perhaps he decides to take it upon himself to rescue the folks in Grishino (Is that the name of the closest village?). Maybe the guy is panicking, and he's not thinking clearly...so he goes knowing full well that he's going to be overwhelmed. But he's going to try anyway.

Tomas at this point is probably yelling at Tomek not to do anything stupid or throw his life away. Tomek could respond by saying he's not going to let these people die because of us. Already we're creating alot of drama and panic which is exactly what we want in this situation. Tomek is made to look more meaningful in this as well, it makes him look heroic (or stupid  :D ). So, this makes the decision difficult for the player.

The ending cinematic is going to be very interesting to watch, because it's going to be based on the decision the player made. I'm looking forward to seeing it already  :D What will the rest of the team think about Tomas's decision? They probably will be divided on it. You might have Sergei saying that by rescuing the villagers you did the right thing. But you might have one of Tomek's friends saying that you condemned Tomek to death by not saving him. If you do it right, and I have no doubt that you will, it could be the best cinematic in the campaign. So I wish you luck when you come to it  ;)

If Tomek was made to look a bit useless, then the decision is easy to make. When it comes to choosing a guy to sacrifice, you want to make an impact on the player. The player needs to know who this guy is, so that it becomes a 'oh god not blabla' moment. So in order to do that, you want to make the guy being sacrificed important. But, do you pick the most skilled guy?

My answer is not necessarily. If you give Tomek a lot of exposure...meaning you give him a lot of dialogue in the story, then he becomes memorable, and so his death has more impact on the player. Probably the best comparison I can make, is in the OFP Resistance campaign, when Stoyan Yakotich gets killed. Very specific reference I know, but perhaps you remember. He's only given a few lines of dialogue in the story, yet when he gets killed by his own men, it does have an impact on the player.

I always saw it as Tomek being the chosen one but I think that was mostly because he was the poor guy in the village  :D

On the last point about why Tomas and Kamil don't split up, well Clay hit the nail on the head. Splitting up is probably the worst thing you can do, because the odds of survival drop for both guys. You want one guy to watch your back, and vice versa. Guys running off on their own is a death sentence; which is actually what awaits Tomek should the player decide to rescue the villagers. That's the price for his decision to run off on his own. Or is it? Thats up to the player  :scratch:

Unfortunately IRL has been preventing me from finishing the last mission, but hopefully I'll get chance to finish it tonight, or this weekend if I'm not busy.
Title: Re: [SP/CAMP] Black Lands (Arma 3)
Post by: Undeceived on 02 Oct 2018, 10:34:20
Wow, Gruntage, you really are INSIDE the campaign or in other words: You know how to develop a story. :clap: Your ideas and dialog suggestions especially regarding the importance of Tomek, but also for the ending scene and the team member's reactions are awesome. I assume though that you have other camera angles and thoughts in mind on the cutscene so you might not get what you are expecting. But I guess you'll be able to live with that. :D

I think that this part is set now. Thousand thanks to you both! It will be a ton of work but at the moment I'm motivated. Good that Arma 4 wasn't even announced. :D

Regarding the Mole mission (Gruntage): You can finish it but I'm also working on it these days (the baby-sitting will stay but hopefully it will be a bit more improved) and I'll probably push an update this or next week. What you missed is (just) the mole joining you and then the task to deliver him to the coast where NATO divers wait for you.
Title: Re: [SP/CAMP] Black Lands (Arma 3)
Post by: Clayman on 02 Oct 2018, 14:34:27
Great idea of adding some more value to Tomek and creating some drama makes the decision much more complicated. I just wanted to point out that it must be clear to the player that he can't rescue the civilians in Grishino. If we have the options to rescue Tomek AND the civilians vs only the civilians in the other village, it's quite obvious which way to go. We need this Tomek OR the civis situation.
And yes, I too am very much looking forward to see the finished mission and especially the ending cutscene.  :D


As a note to myself: Re-play the Resistance campaign. I have no clue who Stoyan Yakotich is...  :whistle:
Title: Re: [SP/CAMP] Black Lands (Arma 3)
Post by: Gruntage on 02 Oct 2018, 18:40:13
Quote
I assume though that you have other camera angles and thoughts in mind on the cutscene so you might not get what you are expecting. But I guess you'll be able to live with that

I don't actually have any preconceived ideas for the cutscene  :D This probably goes without saying but the setting should definitely be a thunderstorm, to really capture the dark mood. No matter what choice the player makes, people suffer as a result. But really that's the only idea I had. I'll definitely try and not imagine what it would be like and instead wait and see  :D

Quote
I just wanted to point out that it must be clear to the player that he can't rescue the civilians in Grishino. If we have the options to rescue Tomek AND the civilians vs only the civilians in the other village, it's quite obvious which way to go. We need this Tomek OR the civis situation.

That is actually a good point and I forgot about the civis in Grishino. I suppose Tomek was successful in warning the civis in Grishino of what's coming, but he won't be able to escape himself. I guess he tries to buy time while the civis escape. Again, this makes him look heroic and meaningful.

As for Stoyan, he's actually a pretty minor character, but yet he's memorable because he's given dialogue and that instantly makes him memorable. So when he dies, it does come as a bit of a shock to first-time viewers. That cutscene where it takes place is actually good to refer to for this. My critique of it though is that they don't really follow it up in the next mission; it feels disjointed. But anyway, that's a different campaign entirely  :D

I'll wait a bit before finishing the Mole until the changed version is up.
Title: Re: [SP/CAMP] Black Lands (Arma 3)
Post by: Clayman on 02 Oct 2018, 21:09:14
Somehow I can't stop thinking about this all day long, trying to put it all together in a plausible way. I can't help it, but I think the civilians in Grishino should be doomed no matter what. Just to show how pissed off the Russians / RS are about the killed colonel and for the extra bit of drama. So I came up with this. Might need some fine-tuning here and there, but overall it should work (hopefully).


I hope I didn't miss anything obvious.^^
It's kinda irritating how much time I put into this. But it's actually great fun to plan this out with you guys. :D
I'm so looking forward to play this mission. :clap:
Title: Re: [SP/CAMP] Black Lands (Arma 3)
Post by: Undeceived on 03 Oct 2018, 00:16:07
A word that I used a lot in the last 24 hours: Wow! :o

 :good: :good: :good: :good: :good:

Quote
I hope I didn't miss anything obvious.^^
Not having thought too much about it as I'm busy with another mission right now I'd say that there's everything we need. But we well see when I'm working on it. :D

A small addition: Not Miroslav hears the names of the villages, as he is far away in the village hall. But Viktor hears it as they both (will) have split up and he by coincidence is at another place closer to the meeting point of the colonel and the RS/Spetsnaz.


By the way, Clayman - one question I wanted to ask for a long time but I always forgot: Did you notice the similarity of this mission with Evil's Last Will? :D As it is right now it is more or less a copy of it. :)


Quote
It's kinda irritating how much time I put into this. But it's actually great fun to plan this out with you guys.
This is so much fun and I can't thank you both enough for your help! You will have a special place in the credits. :)
Title: Re: [SP/CAMP] Black Lands (Arma 3)
Post by: Clayman on 03 Oct 2018, 00:44:34
Quote
By the way, Clayman - one question I wanted to ask for a long time but I always forgot: Did you notice the similarity of this mission with Evil's Last Will? :D As it is right now it is more or less a copy of it. :)
Well, to be honest, I never before thought about that. But now that you mention it, yes, these missions are indeed pretty similar.  :whistle: I DID however notice the similarity of the beginnings of both Martin's List and For the Life of a Friend. Does that count? :D


Quote
This is so much fun and I can't thank you both enough for your help! You will have a special place in the credits. :)
I'm pretty sure I said this to you earlier, but I'll never get tired of repeating it: It's a great thing that you are actually open minded to adapt such ideas, even though it means that you have to redesign the complete mission. (...and it sometimes takes some time to convince you. :D) The result however is always a very special mission, which is totally worth all the time invested.  :)
Title: Re: [SP/CAMP] Black Lands (Arma 3)
Post by: Undeceived on 03 Oct 2018, 00:59:54
Quote
I DID however notice the similarity of the beginnings of both Martin's List and For the Life of a Friend. Does that count? :D
No kidding, I don't know what you mean. :D (echt jetzt)

Quote
it sometimes takes some time to convince you.
I know, I know... :D
Title: Re: [SP/CAMP] Black Lands (Arma 3)
Post by: Clayman on 03 Oct 2018, 01:22:28
Quote
No kidding, I don't know what you mean. :D (echt jetzt)
Seriously? ???  I thought it was quite obvious that Pawel and his boss are an hommage to Piotr. And the cameo appearance of Kostja... Up until now I was sure that was intentional.
Title: Re: [SP/CAMP] Black Lands (Arma 3)
Post by: Undeceived on 03 Oct 2018, 01:27:33
Hahaha :D :D No, as far as I recall it isn't related. While creating that Pawel dialog at least, I didn't think about FTLOAF at all. :) I think the name is just a nice coincidence. But it makes sense indeed because Pawel really was a lazy ass! :D
And the rockers, well - yeah, that makes sense too, but I don't remember if I had Kostja in mind back there. :D (I probably had)
Title: Re: [SP/CAMP] Black Lands (Arma 3)
Post by: Undeceived on 03 Oct 2018, 01:36:20
Oh, by the way, Piotr himself has a cameo appearance in mission 15. I don't know if you remember or saw him from A2 times, he is an reinforcement option in Guglovo.

Other than that I can remember a small easter-egg in Setting-Up Time, at the Russian road check in Vybor, where the player can either tell his real name (Tomas Cerny) and get shot or lie and introduce himself as "Peter Novak". This is the player character in the well-known campaign "Operation Cobalt (https://www.ofpec.com/missions_depot/index.php?action=details&id=264)" by Zipper5.
Title: Re: [SP/CAMP] Black Lands (Arma 3)
Post by: Clayman on 03 Oct 2018, 01:53:25
Of course I noticed Piotr. It was so cool to see him again in this campaign.  :)

The name Peter Novak always sounded familiar, but I never could tell where I had heard it before. Very nice little detail.  :good:
Title: Re: [SP/CAMP] Black Lands (Arma 3)
Post by: mathias_eichinger on 21 Oct 2018, 12:15:32
Wow, lots of activity here.

I am positive about the missing rifle in Death Came Upon Me as I always check the ground too, not just the inventory.
Awakening was a great story telling mission, I really admire your cinematics. I hugged the shore most of my approach so sneaking to the agent was not difficult, and the rest was rather straightforward.
Starting to inflame again I was bug free but very challenging. I think the amount and short reaction time of enemy infantry trying to catch you on the way to the boat is overdone.
Starting to infame again II A very good mission once you want to get away from the Black site. Just too many mission-critical individuals that always fall prey to the "teleported enemy infantry", ending the mission each time. After about 15+ retries I gave up in frustration.


Partial beta test forSetting up time: Cinematics and story telling are top notch and really are testament about the time and effort that went into this masterpiece.
However, unlike the last missions, approaching Myshkino slows my PC down to a slideshow. It seems that there are a ton of scripts at work here. The dialoge with the salesman is just pure gold.
However, after countless retries at the Russian medical depot I just gave up. I feel like a dork wasting my life trying to beat a campaign that has just nightmarish difficulty. I might get back to it some time, but no guarantees.

Martin's list appeared to be a bit easier, but now I am stuck at a critical bug. I layed some satchels with a team mate at the road where you have to ambush the convoy. Teamswitched to the group leader and back to the saboteur - and the action to detonate the Satchels is gone!

Martin's List II is a tricky, but ultimatively possible mission without any bugs - great storytelling in the cutscene at the end. This was one mission I really enjoyed!

Inner Abscess is very good about story telling, the action takes a back seat on this mission, but it is very important for the story arch of this campaign. Well done!

Alexej Pribotov is excellent storytelling up until the last part. When I try to dislodge the infantry at the last known GPS position, I am overwhelmed by a T72 without a practical counter strategy. Another case of cheat-ending a mission.  >:(

Petrovka Strike (Preparations) is easily the most atmospheric gear selection sequence I ever played, very well done.

Petrovka Strike is another one of my half-baked beta tests. I can say that the objective to take the sniper rifle does not tick off, despite me grabbing a SVD Dragunov from the ammo truck. Plus, the SVD optics as explained from the briefing appear to have 1 chevron more than the real rifle, so I cannot hit the target!

Resurrection & Back to Safety are some of the best storytelling and camerascripted missions Arma3 has to offer - not much interaction from the player here, but almost as dramatic as in the cinema! With camera angles even up to a movie.

The Picture is a nice mildly challenging mission until it hits a showstopper in the castle. That camera is nowhere to be found. I searched every killed soldier, having high hopes about the officer, there is a wooden shack in the ruins that cannot be entered, and one of the towers can be climbed - not containing any trace of that camera. I am at a loss where to find it.

The Mole has an excellent mission concept that fails miserably in technical implementation. Within the limits of the mission area, it is not possible to crawl on one's belly unnoticed behind the soldier despite him being in discussion with our officer. He will always notice and shoot you.